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Cornell University Library 
F 127J4 H67 
+ + 
History of Jefferson County, New 


3 1924 028 853 78 


Cornell University 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 










llkslralians anil |j|ioQra^Iikal Skeicfie^ 



DPUBXiISHTEX) B-2- Ij- H. E"V"E!I?.a?S & CO., 
V14— X6 Filbert Street, Philadelphia. 







I. — Physioal Features 9-21 

II.— Pie-Historio 21-25 

III.— Champlain and Frontenao 25-42 

IV.— History of Land-Titlea 42-55 

v.— Castorland 55-64 

VI.— Civil Organization 64-85 

VII.— Statistical 85-94 

VIII.— Public Officers 94-100 

IX.— The. Learned Professions 100-111 

X. — Internal Improvements 111-129 


Black River Falls (Frontispiece) . . . facing title-page. 

Plan of Old Fort Carlton 40 

Outline Map of Jefferson County ..... facing 9 

View of Court-House " 80 

First Steamboat on the Lakes, 1816 125 





" 160 

" 168 

bet. 168, 169 

H it (I 



" 177 

" 148 

bet. 148, 149 

facing 149 

" 152 


" 142 


" 179 

between 134, 135 


History of the Village and City 
View of the Public Square 
Residence of Wm. Howard, with Portraits 
" J. G. Harbottle, " 

" Elam and Chas. E. Brown, with Portraits 

Portraits of Rev. G. Baker and wife, with Biography 
Residence of G. H. Tallett, with Portraits 

" and Brick- Yard of B. D. Whitney, with Port's, facing 
" of Pliny Monroe, with Portraits 
Portrait of L. D. Hill, with Biography 
Residence of J. T. Gotham, with Portraits 
Taggarts & Davis' Paper-Mill (double page view) 
St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church 
Residence and Portrait of Edward S. Massey 
Residence, Business Block, and Portrait of V. S. 
" of G. C. Bradley, with Portraits 

" Hon. John A. Sherman 

Portrait of Hon. J. A. Sherman (steel) 
Portraits of Hon. Willard Ives and wives 
Residence of Hon. W. Ives, with Biography 
" G. Bradford 

" A. Palmer Smith . 

" T. A. Smith .... 

Portrait of A. W. Peck, with Biography . 
" Hon. Joseph MuUin (steel) 

" Hon. 0. Hungerford (steel) 

View of the Fairbanks Mansion 
Biography of Gordon P. Spencer, M.D. 
" John A. Sherman 

" Joseph MuUin 

" Jenery T. Gotham 

" John G. Harbottle 

" Perley G. Keyes, with Portrait 

" Isaac Munson, " 

" Thomas Baker, " 

" Hiram Dewey, " 

" Ward Hubbard, " 

" S. W. Ballard, " 

" G. Bradford, 

" L. Ingalls, " 

" S. Boon, " 

" J. W. Moak, " 





of Asahel Read, with Portraits 

. 192 


Lysander H. Brown, with Portrait 

. 193 


L B. Crawe, " 

. 195 


the Fairbanks Family 

. 196 


Judge W. C. Thompson, with Portrait 

. 199 


John Winslow, " 

. 200 


Bradley Winslow, " 

. 201 


Hon. 0. Hungerford 

. 204 


Dr. Amasa Trowbridge, with Portrait 

. 205 


Dr. W. R. Trowbridge, " 

. 205 


B. B. Fowler, " 

. 206 


N. W. Streeter, " 

. 207 


Jno. C. Streeter, " 

. 207 


Henry Hopkins, " 

. 208 


Solomon 0. Gale, with Portraits . 

. 209 


Milton Carpenter, " 

. 210 


Evelyn F. Carter, with Portrait . 

. 211 


Winslow Pattridge, " 

. 212 


Hart Massey, " 

. 213 


Solon Massey, " 

. 214 


Edward S. Massey .... 

. 215 


Edwin A. Holbrook, with Portrait 

. 216 


Henry W. Shead, " 

. 217 


N. M. Woodruff, 

. 218 

View of the Woodruff House ..... f 

acing 218 

" Henry Keep's Home Building and Arcade . 

" 219 


of Charles T. Woodruff 

. 220 

Residence of Mrs. 0. R. Davis . . . . f 

acing 220 


Hon. Hiram Dewey .... 



the late Gen. Abner Baker . 

" 221 


of " " " " with Portrait 

. 221 


William Howard 

. 222 


Egbert D. Whitney 

. 223 


Pliny Monroe 

. 223 


Aaron Brown, with Portrait 

. 224 


Levi H. Brown, " . . . . 

. 224 


Volney S. Hubbard (Supplement) 

. 592 


History of the Town of Watertown . 

Biography of Ebenezer Tolman, with Portrait . 
" Alexander Parker, with Portraits 

" Jeremiah Parker, " 

" Francis Smiley, with Portrait 

" Austin Everett, " 

" William Tolman, " 

" Joseph Sawyer, with Portraits 

Residence of L. T. Sawyer, and Portraits 
" John B.Bali, " 

Biography of " " " ' . . 

. 226 

. 234 

. 235 

. 236 

. 237 

. 238 

. 239 

. 240 

facing 240 

" 241 

. 241 


History of the Town of Adams 
Portrait of Gen. S. D. Hungerford (steel) . 
Biography of " " " . . 

A. S. Greene (U. S. N.) 

" Samuel Fox .... 

" Daniel Fox (2d) . 

" John C. Cooper 

" Luman Arms 

" Thomas R. Greene 

. 242 

facing 261 

. 261 



Kesidence and Shops of W. H. Wheeler . 

" of J. M. Cleveland (double page view) 

A. D. Stanley, with Portraits 
and Sash Factory of 0. D. Greene . 


facing 245 
between 'Mi, 245 
facing 253 
" 252 
Farm View and Residence of J. L. Greene, Esq. (double page) 

between 252, 263 
Kesidence of Giles Parker, with Portraits . . facing 244 

" 249 
" 249 

" Mrs. Nancy S. Thomas 

" Mrs. Thomas R. Greene, with Portrait 
Portraits of W. T. Searles and wife 
Portrait of Luman Arms 

" Thomas H. Breen 

" A. S. Greene (U. S. N.) .... 

"Valley Park Farm," Residence of Gen. S. D. Hungerford 

(double page) between 248, 249 

Residence of H. H. Crosby fac 

" H. C. Averill .... 

" and Shop of R. C. Langworthy 

" and Store of E. C. Crosby 

" of Chauncey Colton .... 

',' and Mill of T. P. Saunders 

'* .of T. V. Maxon (double page) . . between 

" Miss L. J. EuUock .... fac^ 

" A. J. Greene 

Hungerford Collegiate Institute 

Residence of Mrs. J. C. Cooper, with portrait . 

Portraits of Daniel and Hannah Fox 

Portrait of Samuel Fox ..... 
" Daniel Fox, Jr. . . . 







' 256 

250, 261 

ng 269 



' 260 










facing 272 


" 273 

" 274 


History of the Town of Alexandria . 
Biography of Chauncey Westcott 

" Thos. B. Marshall ... 

" Azariah Walton, with Portrait . 

Portraits of Ashley and Susan Tanner 
Biography of Ashley Tanner (Supplement) 
Residence, Portrait, and Biography of H. S. White 
Portraits of Chauncey Westcott and wife . 
Residence of Joseph W. Reade, Esq. 

" T. B. Marshall, with Portraits 


History of the Town of Antwerp 275 

Residence of Ei A. Carpenter, and Portraits . . facing 276 
Farm and Residence of Hiram B. Keene (double page) 

between 276, 277 

Residence of Elijah Houghton, with Portrait . . facing 277 
" 0. 6. Hall, and Homestead of Asher Lewis, with 

Portraits facing 280 

Farm and Residence of Hiram T. Nutting, with Portraits, " 281 

Homestead of Loren Stone, with Portraits . . " 275 

Portraits of Hiram and Betsey Keene ... " 290 
Residence of N. J. Cooper, with Portraits . between 290, 291 
Biography of Abraham Cooper, with Portraits . " 290, 291 
Residence of Clark Weston, and Portraits of Lawrence Weston 

and wife ........ facing 291 

Biography of Hiram B. Keene 290 

" Caleb G. Hall 291 

" E. A. Carpenter 291 

" L. A. Bacon, with Portraits 292 

" Asher and Nancy Lewis ..... 293 

" Hiram T. Nutting 293 

" Elijah Houghton 293 

" Lawrence Weston 293 

" Loren Stone (Supplement) 593 


History of the Town of Brownville 294 

Biography of Major-General Brown 302 

" Colonel Edmund Kirby .... 302 

" George Brown, Esq. ...... 302 

Colonel William Lord . . . . . .303 

" General Thomas Loomis ... . 303 


Biography of Thomas S. Knap .... 
" John A. Catbcart .... 

" Hon. Henry Spiocr, with Portrait 

" Hon. Alanson Skinner, with Portraits 

" James Douglass, " *' 

" Hazael S. White, " " 

" Alvin A. Gibbs, with Portrait 

Farm View and Residence of E. T. White 
Residence of Amos Otis, Jr. 

" Walter Zimmerman 

" John C. Knapp 

" Mrs. A. A. Clarke 

" Mrs. J. A'. Scofield 


History of the Town of Cape Vincent 
Biography of Joel and Levi Torrey . 

" Elisha P. Dodge, with Portraits 

" David C. Shuler . . • 

Residence of A. J. Humphrey . . • • facing 

" F. M. Rogers ... 

"Riverside Hotel," F. H. Dodge, prop., Millen's Bay 
Residence of David C. Shuler, with Portraits . 

Edwin Gray, '■ " (double page) 

between 314, 
" Shepard Warren, " " . . facing 


History of the Town of Champion . 
Biography of Col. Elias Sage . 

" Elam Brown 

" A. Vf, Twining 

" Noadiah Hubbard, with Portraits 

" Hiram -Hubbard, with Portrait 

" Alphonso Loomis . 

" Norman J. Fuller . 

Residence of N. J. Fuller, with Portraits . . . facing 
Biography of Russell Wilmot, " " 

Residence of George Bush, with Portraits 
Biography of Hon. Merrill Coburn, with Portrait 

" Wm. M. Coburn, " " 

Residence of Mrs. Lucina Loomis, with Portraits 

" Col. E. S.ige, with Portraits (double page) between 


" A. W. Twining, " , . facing 


History of the Town of Clayton 
Biography of John Johnston 
Portrait of " " 

Residence of Capt. S. G. Johnston 
Christ Church, Clayton 
Halpin's Block, " 
Residence of Thomas Recs 
" A. F. Barker 


History of the Town of EUisburg 

Biography of Wm. G. Hitchcock, with Portraits 

" A. A. Wheeler 

" Charles Goodenough 

" Brastus B. Haven 

" Nabum C. Houghton, Esq. . 

" James F. Converse 

" James Brodie 

" Lavius Fillmore . 

" Alvah Bull .... 

" Frederick Williams 

"Riverside," Residence of J. F. Converse 
residence of F. Williams (double page) . 

" James Brodie, with Portraits 

" Andrew A. Wheeler, with Portrait 

" Marcus Judson, with Portrait and Biography 



between 356, 


yiew of Union Academy facing 364 

Eesidenoe of E. B. Haven " 380 

" Alvah Bull, with Portraits ... " 361 

" N. C. Houghton, " . . " 363 
Views of Property of Lavius Fillmore, with Portraits (double 

page) between 362, 363 

Residences of David Holly and J. A. Bemis . . facing 362 
The Haven Family — Group of Portraits ... " 376 
Eesidenee of Mrs. 6. W. Greene, and Portrait of Chas. Good- 
enough facing 377 

Old Mill and Goodenough Church .... "377 


History of the Town of Henderson 379 

Biography of the Russell WalUioe Family 386 

" Roswell Davis 386 

Homestead of Samuel Griggs, with Portraits . . facing 378 

Residence of Hon. Geo. Babbitt, " " . . « 379 

Biography " " " 387 

Portraits of Herbert D. Babbitt and Wife 387 

Biography of Truman 0. Whilney 388 

" Geo. W. Collins 388 

" A. D. Stanley 389 

" Leonard Seaton 389 

" AbelBickford 389 

Reuben W. Leffingwel! 390 

" George Bunnel ... ... "390 

" Joel Dodge 390 

'• Simeon Mather 391 

" Capt. H. R. Warner 391 

" Harvey Smith 391 

Portraits of the Wallace Family 
Residence of Abel Bickford, with Portraits 
" • G. W. Collins, " . 

" Simeon Mather, " 

between 386, 387 





(double page) 

between 380 






(double page) 

between 384, 




" Mrs. T. 0. Whitney, " 

" Leonard Seaton, " 

R. Leffingwell, " 

" "Harvey Smith, " 

Biographies of D. M. Hall and Austin Robbins, with Portraits 

facing 390 
Residence of H. R. Warner and Son, with Portraits (double 

page) ...... between 390, 391 

" Joel Dodge, with Portraits . . . facing 391 

" L. B. Simmons "386 

" the late Russell Wallace, with Portraits bet. 386, 387 

" G. G. Whitney, " " . facing 388 

" George Bunnel, " " . " 389 

" W. P. Davis (double page) . between 382, 383 

" Mrs. B. J. Hall, with Portraits . . lacing 382 

W. S. Griggs, " " . . " 383 


History of the Town of Hounsfleld 392 

Views of Ship-House, and Line-of-battle Ship " New Orleans," 

Farm View of Geo. Frasier (double page) 
Residence of Sylvester Benjamin 

" F. R. Smith .... 

Portrait of Andrew Smith, with Biography 

" Merrick M. Bates, " 

" Ira Hall, " 

Biography of Cornelius W. Inglchart 
Property of Anson Potter, with Portraits and Biogi 


between 410, 411 

facing 416 







between 392, 393 

Earl House, R. M. Earl, Proprietor .... facing 401 

Residence of Cornelius W. Inglehart, with Portrait . " 400 

" D. C. Read "396 


History of the Town of Le Ray 

Biography of J. D. Le Bay de Chaumont, with Portrait . 



Biography of A. P. Marshall 436 

" Thomas Dunten 434 

" Christopher Poor 435 

" D. H. Scott 436 

" Randall Barnes 436 

" W. S. Wilcox 437 

" Phineas Hardy 437 

Homestead of Randall Barnes, with Portraits . . facing 426 

Residence of A. F. Marshall, Black River . . " 427 

Packing-Box Factory of D. H. Scott & Son, Black River " 427 

" Lockport Mills," Warren & Ingraham, " " " 421 

Residence of H. Ingraham, " " " 421 

Residences of Matthew and P. V. Poor, with Portraits " 420 

Residence of Thomas Dunten, " " " 422 

" Phineas Hardy, " " " 423 


History of the Town of Lorraine 438 

Residence of Henry Bailey ..... facing 444 

" Daniel Wise "444 

" 0. S. Wilcox "445 

Portrait and Biography of Dr. H. W. Jewett . . "446 


History of the Town of Lyme 445 

Residence of Hiram Copley, Chaumont . . . facing 449 
Property of Jerry P. Shuler, with Portraits . . " 448 


History of the Town of Orleans 464 

Biography of Adam J. Snell 460 

" Hon. R. B. Biddlecom, with Portraits . . 461 

" William Whaley 462 

" Simon Folts 462 

" Nathan HoUoway 462 

Residence of Adam J. Snell, with Portraits (double page) 

between 460, 461 
Portraits of Edmund Sargent and wife . . . facing 461 
Residence of M. W. Nellis, with Portraits (double page) 

between 454, 455 
Farm Residence of Gideon Budlong, with Portraits . facing 457 
Property of William Whaley, with Portraits (double page) 

between 456, 457 
Residence and Dairy-Farm of Simon Folts . . facing 459 
" " " " Sanford Petrie, with Portraits 

(double page) between 458, 459 

" of Nathan Holloway, with Portraits . facing 458 

" and Dairy-Farm of A. A. Hughes, with Portraits 

facing 462 
" " " " George Bckert, with Portraits 

(double page) ...... between 462, 463 

" of Edmund Sargent ..... facing 463 


History of the Town of Pamelia 463 

Biography of Ebenezer Williams 467 

" Henry and Elizabeth Countryman, with Portraits 468 

" Oren Barnes, with Portrait 469 

" Paul Anthony, with Portraits .... 470 

Residence of Thos. H. Anthony, with Portrait . . facing 470 

E. Williams, with Portraits ... " 471 

Biography of Col. 0. S. Woodruff, with Portrait . . .471 

" John L. Parrish 471 

" Truman B. Townsend 472 

Residence of J. L. Parrish, with Portraits . . facing 466 

" and Cheese-Factory of A. P. Baltz . . " 467 

" of M. Goulding "464 

" Truman B. Townsend, with Portraits . " 465 


History of the Town of Philadelphia . . . .472 

Biography of Oliver Child 483 

" Lyman Wilson, with Portraits . . . 484 



Biography of John Strickland, with Portraits .... 485 
" Erastns Whitney .... . . 486 

" Edmnnd Tncker 486 

Residence of George E. Tucker, Esq. . . . facing 486 

" OUver Child "472 

" W. SI. Whitney "473 


History of the Town of Rodman 487 

Residence of Charles E. Glazier . . . facing 486 

" H. Herring "487 

Biography of Henry Gordinier 493 

" Harry Harrington 493 

" George Gates 494 

Residence of Henry Gordinier, with Portraits . . facing 493 

" A. P. Gardner "492 

" Lnman Loveland " 4SS 

" S. H. and George A. Gates, with Portrait (donhle 

page) between 488, 4S9 


" Harry Harrington, with Portraits . facing 

" X. A. Wright " 

" Daniel Todd " 

A. C. Hughs . . . . 
" D. M. Todd 

Charles S. Sage " 

" John S. Sill (two views) ... " 

" Seymour S. Plank, with Portraits . " 


History of the Town of Rutland ... . . 495 

Biography of Harlan P. Dunlap 505 

" the Eames Family, with Portraits . . 506 

Hon. And. C. Middleton 507 

Portrait of Samuel Middleton . . ... 507 

Biography of Christopher and William Middleton . . 50S 

" L. D. Olney 508 

" Chauncey D. Huntington . . . . 509 

" the Parkinson Family . . ... 509 

" Peter Pohl . . 510 

" Charles C. Hardy ... . 510 

" Arnold Webb . 510 

" H. P. Dunlap facing 501 

Cabinetware Rooms of W. S. Wilcox ... " 501 

Bent Chair Stock Factory, Poor i, Dexter . . " 500 

Chair-Factory of D. Dexter * Son .... 
Residence of P. C. and J. B. Parkinson, with Portraits 

" Peter Pohl, with Portraits . 

" Arnold Webb, " " 

" Henry C. Eames . 

" C. Middleton 

" W. D. Middleton, with Portraits 

" L. D. Olney, " " 

" Chas. C. Hardy . 

A. Rose 


History of the Town of Theresa 
Residence of M. B. Bodman 
Biography of Jonathan Stratton 
Portrait and Biography of Benjamin Still 
American House, A. Church, Prop. 
Residence of David Bearup 

" Jno. Stratton, with Portraits . 

" and Cheese-Factory of J. P. Douglass 

Portrait and Biography of N. D. Yost 


History of the Town of Wilna .... 
Biography of Samuel Branangh 
Residence and Dairy-Farm of F. 0. Symonds . 
" of Simeon Fulton 


History of the Town of Worth . 
Biography of Levi Wilcox 

" Leonard Bullock .... 

Residence of Leonard Bullock, with Portraits . 

" Levi Wilcox, " 




. 511 

facing 511 

. 521 

facing 514 



" 512 

" 519 


. 522 

. 531 

facing 522 

" 522 





Biography of Maj.-Gen. Brown, with Steel Portrait . . 548 

Brig.-Gen. Z. M. Pike 553 

" Col. Edmund Kirby 553 

" Col. John L. Goldsmidt 553 

Rosters of the Soldiebs of the War of IS12, Mexican 

War, War of the Rebeluos ... . . 560 



This volume has been compiled from many sources. A 
valuable history of Jefferson County was published by Dr. 
Hough in 1854. Its compilation required a vast amount of 
physical and mental labor, and was a very complete work. 
During the twenty-three years which have elapsed since its 
publication much interesting material has accumulated, and 
the demand for a new and more elaborate work was believed 
by the present publishers to warrant the compilation of the 
one herewith given to the public. Arrangements were 
made with Dr. Hough, whereby the use of his history was 
secured, and much valuable assistance rendered by him and 
his son, Mr. F. H. Hough. 

Taking Dr. Hough's work as a foundation, it has been 
the aim of those in charge to collect all the additional 
material which the most diligent application could reach, 
and from the great mass thus accumulated construct a 
thorough and reliable work. Beginning with the earliest 
discoveries and settlements of the French in the region of 
the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes, everything of 
importance has been introduced, and the expeditions of 
Cham plain, De NouvUle, La Barre, Frontenac, Bradstreet, 
and Montcalm treated as much in detail as their connection 
with the region now within the bounds of the ' county 
seemed to demand. 

The military and naval history of the "War of 1812 — so 
far as it attaches to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence — 
is closely connected with Jefferson County, inasmuch as all 
important operations were conducted from Sacket's Har- 
bor, then the most important point on the northern frontier. 
The illustrious commander of the United States army in 
aiicr-years* was one of the earlier pioneers, and then a 
resident of the county. The chapter devoted to this war 
is from Dr. Hough's work, carefully corrected and revised 
by him, and is as complete as the limits of the present 
work would admit. 

The history of land titles is also from the same source, 
and gives a thorough understanding of the complicated legis- 
lation and the multitudinous surveys and speculations of the 
various corporations and individuals who operated in the 
wild lands of northern New York. 

The history of the city of Watertown and the various 
towns and villages has been carefully compiled and brought 
down to the present time. The civil organization, the 
courts, learned professions, churches, schools, agricultural 
and manufacturing interests, internal improvements, politi- 

* General Jacob Brown. 

cal matters, and every subject of interest will be found, 
each in its proper connection, thoroughly written up. 

An important and interesting chapter upon the War of 
the Rebellion is furnished from material obtained through 
the courtesy of the Adjutant-Greneral at Albany, including 
a history of the various organizations which entered the 
service from Jefferson County, and closing with a carefully- 
prepared roster of the soldiers of the county. 

Absolute perfection we cannot claim, but every care has 
been taken that the work shall be as complete and accurate 
as possible ; and we trust that it will be received in that 
spirit which is characteristic of an intelligent community. 
If minor errors and inadvertencies shall be found, we 
simply ask the public to remember that perfection is an 
attribute of the Infinite alone. 

Among the various works and text-books consulted have 
been the following: Documentary History of New York, 
Parkman's Works, Dr. Hough's History of Jefferson County, 
various Encyclopaedias, Legislative Manuals, Hon. C. R. 
Skinner's Pamphlet upon Watertown, The Records of 
Jefferson County, Public School Library, Annals of the 
West, " Olden Time," etc. 

In conclusion, we would tender our obligations to the 
following citizens, who have kindly aided us in the compila- 
tion of the work : 

To Dr. F. B. Hough and his son, Mr. F. H. Hough, we 
are under obligations for special favors. Hon. Charles R. 
Skinner, Hon. Robert Lansing, Bernard Bagley, Esq. : 
Edmund B. Wynn, Esq.; J. Mortimer Crawe, M.D. 
Samuel B. Upham, Cashier Jefferson Union National Bank 
T. H. Camp, President Jefferson County National Bank 
George H. Cole, Esq., County Clerk ; W. D. V. Rulison 
Clerk Board of Supervisors ; Dr. J. D. Huntington, D.D.S. 
Rev. E. 0. Haven, D.D., LL.D., Chancellor of Syracuse 
University, Syracuse ; Pearson Mundy, Esq. ; Postmaster 
Williams ; the Press, the Clergy generally. Railway officials, 
and officers of the various Societies and Orders of the 
County and the City of Watertown ; the Insurance Com- 
panies and Manufacturers ; Foster M. Ferrin, Esq. ; Mrs. 
Jason Fairbanks and her sons ; Master Cyrus H. Cole, 
Librarian Public School Library, Superintendent of City 
Schools ; Gilbert Bradford, the eminent engineer, and many 

Samuel W. Durant, 
Henry B. Peiroe. 

Watertown, Nov. 3, 1877. 




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Geographical, Geological, Topographical, and Climatological. 

Jefferson County is situated in the northern part of 
the State, and is bounded on the northeast by St. Law- 
rence county, on the northwest by the St. Lawrence river, on 
the west by Lake Ontario, on the south by Oswego county, 
and on the east by Lewis county. The superficial area of 
the county, according to the latest statistics, is 733,585 
acres; equivalent to eleven hundred and forty-six square 

The latitude of the court-house in Watertown is about 
44° north, and the longitude 76° west from Greenwich, or 
one degree west from Washington, D. C. 

The main water features of the county are the beautiful 
Ontario lake and the St. Lawrence river. The main in- 
dentations of the lake are the great Black River bay, for- 
merly called Hungry bay (and sometimes supposed to be 
the Bay fZe la Famine of the French), Chaumont bay, 
Henderson bay, and GufiSn's bay. 

Black River bay, upon which is located the town and 
port of Sacket's Harbor, is by all odds the finest on the 
lake, and is surpassed by none on the upper lakes for ca- 
pacity, depth of water, and safety. It is a magnificent arm 
of this inland sea, completely land-locked, and surrounded 
by a bold escarpment of Trenton limestone, varying from 
the water's edge to thirty feet in height. Henderson, 
Chaumont, Gaffin's, and a small inlet called Three-Mile bay, 
are arms or prolongations of the main bay. 

This magnificent harbor,,including its various ramifica- 
tions, covers an area of about sixty square miles, with abun- 
dance of water to Jloat the heaviest ships. The principal 
islands attached to JeflFerson County are Wells, Grind- 
stone, and Carlton islands in the St. Lawrence, and Grena- 
dier, Galloo, and Stony islands in Lake Ontario. Besides 
these there are many smaller ones, including several in the 
mouth of Black river, a number in Black river and Chau- 
mont bays. Fox island, and a portion of the archipelago 

known as the "Thousand Islands'' in the St. Lawrence.* 
Among the most prominent headlands and capes are Stony 
point {Poiiite de- la Traverse of the French), Sixtown 
point. Pillar point. Point peninsula, and Tibbett's point. 

There are about twenty small lakes in the county, of 
which ten are in Theresa and Alexandria, four in Ellis- 
burg, two in Antwerp, two in Henderson, and one each 
in Orleans and Pamelia, Champion, and Rutland. The 
largest is Butterfield lake, lying between Theresa and 
Alexandria, which is about four miles in length. The 
other more important ones are Perch lake in Orleans and 
Pamelia, nearly three miles in length, and Pleasant lake in 
Champion, about two miles long.f 

The county is wholly drained by Lake Ontario and the 
St. Lawrence. The most important of the interior streams 
is Black river, which drains about one-fourth of the county, 
passing through a little south of the centre. Between 
Carthage, on the east line of the county, and the lake, this 
stream falls four hundred and eighty feet, and, as may be 
imagined, is almost a continuous series of rapids, with sev- 
eral cascades varying from two to fifteen feet in perpen- 
dicular descent. 

The waters of this river are of a peculiarly dark and for- 
bidding appearance, resembling, in deep places, the lye of 
wood-ashes, caused probably by the leachings of the cedar 
and hemlock swamps and peaty bogs which it drains 
towards its head-waters, and by oxides. 

This stream furnishes^ an immense amount of water- 
power ; it being estimated as high as one hundred and 
thirty-five thousand three hundred and sixty horee-power, 
in the dry season, within the limits of Jefierson County 

The other principal streams are Indian river, a branch of 
the Oswegatchie ; Chaumont river, flowing into Chaumont 
bay ; Perch ri^'e^, which drains Perch lake and discharges 
into Black River bay ; the two branches of Sandy creek, in 
the south part of the county ; Stony creek, in Henderson 

■^' See history of land titles, 
f See history of townships. 



and Adams ; and Mill creek, in Hounsfield ; the last four 
named flowing into Lake Ontario south of Black river. 


The first attempt to delineate Jefferson County upon a 
map was probably made in October, 1802, by Simeon De 
"Witt, surveyor-general of the State, who published a 
State map. At that date the only village in the county 
was Brownville. All the region north of Black river was 
called Castorland, and the position now known as the 
"Thousand Islands" was marked "unknown." Chau- 
mont bay was then called Hungiy bay. Watertown was 
subdivided into three sections, Hesiod, Leghorn, and Milan. 
On the south were Henderson, Aleppo, Orpheus, and Han- 
del ; and along the south side of the county were Minos, 
Atticus, Fenelon, and Shakspeare. 


The following interesting article upon the Thousand 
Islands is from Dr. Hough's history : 

" Several of the early travelers describe, in romantic 
terms, the beauty of this group of islands ; but no lan- 
guage is adequate to convey a just idea of the charming 
variety that they present to the traveler. The following ex- 
tract is from " Weld's Journal" (1799), and gives a truth- 
ful description, due allowance being made for the changes 
which cultivation and settlement have made : 

" ' About eight o'clock the next and eighth morning of 
our voyage, we entered the last lake just before you come 
to that of Ontario, called the Lake of a Thousand Islands, 
on account of the multiplicity of them which it contains. 
Many of these islands are scarcely larger than a bateau, and 
none of them, except such as are situated at the upper and 
lower extremities of the lake, appeared to me to contain 
more than fifteen English acres each. They are all covered 
with wood, even to the very smallest. The trees on these 
last are stunted in their growth, but the larger islands pro- 
duce as fine timber as is to be found on the main shores of 
the lake. Many of these islands are situated so closely to- 
gether that it would be easy to throw a pebble from one to 
the other, notwithstanding which circumstance, the passage 
between them is perfectly safe and commodious for bateaux, 
and between some of them that are even thus close to each 
other is water sufficient for a frigate. The water is un- 
commonly clear, as it is in every part of the river, from 
Lake St. Francis upwards ; between that lake and the 
Utawas river downwards it is discolored, as I have before 
observed, by passing over beds of marl. The shores of all 
these islands under our notice are rocky ; most of them rise 
very boldly, and some exhibit perpendicular masses of rock 
towards the water upwards of twenty feet high. The 
scenery presented to view in sailing between these islands 
is beautiful in the highest degree. Sometimes, after pass- 
ing through a narrow strait, you find yourself in a basin, 
land-locked on every side, that appears to have no commu- 
nication with the lake, except by the passage through which 
you entered ; you are looking about, perhaps, for an outlet 
to enable you to proceed, thinking at last to see some little 
channel which will just admit your bateau, when on a sud- 
den an expanded sheet of water opens upon you, whose 

boundary is the horizon alone ; again in a few minutes jov 
find yourself land-locked, and again a spacious passage a; 
suddenly presents itself; at other times, when in the middle 
of one of these basins, between a cluster of islands, a dozer 
different channels, like so many noble rivers, meet the eye 
perhaps equally unexpectedly, and on each side the islands 
appear regularly retiring till they sink from the sight in th( 
distance. Every minute during the passage of this lake 
the prospect varies. The numerous Indian hunting en 
campments on the different islands, with the smoke of theii 
fires rising up between the trees, added considerably to th< 
beauty of the scenery as we passed it. The lake of i 
Thousand Islands is twenty-five miles in length, and aboui 
six in breadth. From its upper end to Kingston, at whici 
place we arrived early in the evening, the distance is fifteer 

" ' The length of time required to ascend the River St, 
Lawrence, from Montreal to Kingston, is commonly founc 
to be about seven days. If the wind should be strong anc 
very favorable, the passage may be performed in a less time 
but should it, on the contrary, be adverse, and blow verj 
strong, the passage will be protracted somewhat longer ; ar 
adverse or favorable wind, however, seldom makes a differ- 
ence of more than three days in the length of the passage 
upwards, as in each case it is necessary to work the bateau 
along by means of poles for the greater part of the way, 
The passage downwards is performed in two or three days 
according to the wind. The current is so strong that a 
contrary wind seldom lengthens the passage in that direc- 
tion more than a day.' " 

The following lines, by Caleb Lyon, are meritorious as a 
production of the fancy, and will be read with interest : 

The Thousand Isles! the Thousand Isles ! 
Dimpled, the wave around them smiles, 
Kissed by a thousand red-lipped flowers, 
(jemmedby a thousand emerald bowers j 
A thousand birds their praises wake 
By rocky glade and plumy brake, 
A thousand eedars' fragrant shade 
Falls where the Indians' children played; 
And fancy's dream my heart beguiles 
While singing thee, thou Thousand Isles ! 

No vestal virgin guards their groves, 
No Cupid breathes of Cyprian loves, 
No Satyr's form at eve is seen. 
No Dryad peeps the trees between, 
No Venus rises from their shore, 
No loved Adonis, red with gore, 
No pale Endymion wooed to sleep, 
No brave Lcander breasts their deep, 
No Ganymede, — no Pleiades, — 
Theirs arc a New World's memories. 

The flag of France first o'er them hung, 

The mass was said, the vesper sung, 

The frirea of Jesus hailed the strands 

As blessed Virgin Mary's lands j 

And red men mutely heard, surprised, 

Their heathen names all Christianized. 

Ne.\t floated a banner with cross and crown 

'Twas Freedom's eagle plucked it down 

Retaining its pure and crimson dyes 

"With the stars of their own, their native skies 

There St. Lawrence gentlest flows. 
There the south wind softest blows, 



There the lilies whitest bloom, 
There the biroh hath leafiest gloom, 
There the red deer feed in spring, 
There doth glitter wood-duok's wing, 
There leaps the muskelunge at morn. 
There the loon's night song is borne. 
There is the fisherman's paradise, 
With trolling skiif at red sunrise. 

The Thousand Isles ! the Thousand Isles ! 
Their charm from every care beguiles j 
Titian alone hath grace to paint 
The triumph of their patron saint, 
Whose waves return on memory's tide. 
La Salle and Tonty side by side. 
Proud Frontenac and bold Champlain 
There act their wanderings o'er again ; 
And while the golden sunlight smiles 
Pilgrims shall greet thee, Thousand Isles ! 

Thomas Moore, the Irish poet, early in the century 
traveled on the St. Lawrence, and his Canadian Boat Song 
is familiar to all admirers of his writings. The magnificent 
scenery of this noble river naturally excited the enthusiasm 
of a temperament formed for the perception of the beauties 
which are so strikingly reflected in his poetry. The boat' 
men were accustomed to beguile the tedium of rowing by 
singing, their voices being perfectly in tune together, and 
the whole joining in the chorus. Of the effect of this he 
says : " Without that charm which association gives to 
every little memorial of scenes or feelings that are past, the 
melody may perhaps be thought common and trifling ; but 
I remember when we had entered at sunset upon one of 
those beautiful lakes into which the St. Lawrence so 
grandly and unexpectedly opens, I have heard this simple 
air with a pleasure which the finest compositions of the 
first masters have never given me ; and now there is not a 
note of it which does not recall to my memory the dip of 
our oars in the St. Lawrence, the flight of our boat down 
the rapids, and all those new and fanciful impressions to 
which my heart was alive during the whole of this interest- 
ing voyage." 

Et regimen cantus hortatitr. — QuiNTILIAN. 

Faintly as tolls thejevening chime 
Our voices keep tune, and our oars keep timej 
Soon as the woods on shore look dim. 
We'll sing at St, Ann's our parting hymn. 
Row, brothers, row, the stream runs fast. 
The rapids are near and the daylight's past ! 

Why should we yet our sail unfurl ? 
There is not a breath the blue wave to curl ! 
But, when the wind blows off the shore, 
Oh, sweetly we'll rest on our weary oar ! 
Blow, breezes, blow, the stream runs fast. 
The rapids are near and the daylight's past ! 

Utawa's tide ! this trembling moon 
Shall see us float over .thy surges soon : 
Saint of this green isle ! hear our prayers, • 
Oh, grant us cool heavens and favoring airs ! 
Blow, breezes, blow, the stream runs fust. 
The rapids are near and the daylight's past ! 


The chapter upon the geology, mineralogy, etc., of the 
county, in Dr. Hough's History, published in 1854, is so 
complete, and treats the various subjects with such thor- 

oughness and marked ability, that we give it nearly en- 
tire : 

To an agricultural population, like that which forms the 
basis of society in Jefferson County, there are none of the 
physical sciences which have stronger claims to attention 
than geology and its allied branches, mineralogy and chem- 
istry, for it is these that teach the character and capabilities 
of the soil, and the train of causes which, acting harmo- 
niously through long periods of time, compared with which 
the historic eras of man are but as moments, have gradu- 
ally prepared the earth's surface for his support ; given 
form and beauty to its hills and plains ; scooped out the 
valleys through which rivers find their way to the sea, and 
placed stores of metallic wealth within reach of his labors. 
Nor have these agencies failed to record their action in the 
traces they have left, as enduring as time, yet easily inter- 
preted, and abundantly rewarding such as will but observe 
them. There is no pursuit more engaging or better calcu- 
lated to impart a true k nowledge of the grandeur and harmony 
of nature's works, and a devout reverence for their Author. 

Such is the intimate relation between the soil and the 
rock from which it has been derived, and usually with that 
by which it is immediately underlaid, that a definite knowl- 
edge of its capabilities can scarcely be had without an ac- 
quaintance with the latter. Besides this, we are indebted 
to mineral products for so many articles of necessity, to 
say nothing of the conveniences and luxuries in life, that 
their relations and the indications which lead to their 
occun-ence become subjects of necessary knowledge, and 
indispensable to our civilization. 


Geologists divide rocks into two great classes, named, 
from their relative ages, primary, and sedimentary or sec- 
ondary ; the first never presenting traces of organic re- 
mains, but from their crystalline character and mode of 
occurrence often exhibit evidences of having been sub- 
jected to the agency of heat, while the latter appear made 
up of materials derived from the former, broken up and 
deposited in water, and usually contain fossil remains of 
animals and plants that lived at the period of their forma- 
tion. As we ascend in the series, we find the characters of 
the rocky strata vary, as if their deposit had been produced 
under different agencies, which had changed repeatedly, 
and at each time the forms of organic life had disappeared, 
to give place to some other, which had in like manner 
passed away ; and so constant is the type of these fossil 
remains for each class of rocks, that it affords an infallible 
guide, when present, to a knowledge of the place and rela- 
tion of the rooks in which they occur. The science of 
Falxontology has for its object the classification and de- 
scription of these fossil remains, and few sections afford a 
more profitable field for these researches than this county. 
Both primary and secondary rocks occur in Jefferson 
County, the former of which, with the dividing line be- 
tween them, affords the only rational prospects of valuable 
metallic veins and deposits, as well as most of the crystal- 
line minerals, which form so attractive objects to the min- 
eralogist and such dazzling ornaments to cabinets. 

Of the latter, however, we are not without localities that 



vie with the most noted, and the primitive region of the 
county -will abundantly repay the labor bestowed upon min- 
eral collection. The details of these will be hereafter given. 
The rock constituting the primary is mainly composed of 
gneiss; a mixture of quartz, hornblende, and feldspar, 
which are regarded as elementary or simple minerals, and 
make up by far the largest part of what is known of the 
earth's surface. In gneiss, these usually occur in irregular 
strata, often contorted, never horizontal, and seldom contin- 
uing of uniform thickness more than a few feet. It forms 
by far the largest part of the surface rook throughout the 
gi-eat northern forest of New York, and in Jefl'erson this 
rook constitutes the greater part of the islands in the St. 
Lawrence, between French Creek and Morristown, and ap- 
pears in Clayton, Orleans, and Alexandria on the river- 
bank ; in the latter town it extends back a mile or two 
from the shore. It forms a strip, extending up on both 
sides of Indian river to Theresa village, and the shores 
and islands of most of the lakes of that town and Antwerp, 
and much of the country within the node of Indian river, 
towards the village of Philadelphia, where it forms the 
surface rock and extends to Antwerp, the greater part of 
which it underlies. From this town it extends along Indian 
river to the village of Natural Bridge, and thence to Car- 
thage, where it forms the islands among the rapids of the 
Long falls, and thence follows up the river, keeping a little 
west of its channel, through Lewis into Oneida county. In 
this area there are occasional ledges of white or primary 
limestone, especially in Antwerp, with limited quantities of 
serpentine, and superficial patches of sandstone. 


Lying next above the primitive, and forming a consider- 
able amount of surface rock, in 'Alexandria, Theresa, Clay- 
ton, Orleans, and Antwerp, is the Potsdam sandstone, so 
named from the fine manner in which it is developed in 
that town. It is the oldest of sedimentary rocks, and con- 
tains (but rarely) the forms of organic bodies that were 
created at the dawn of the vital piinciple. Two genera, 
one a plant the other shell, have been found in this rock, 
hut so rarely that it may be almost said to be without fos- 
sils. Its principal constituent is silex, in the form of sand, 
firmly consolidated, and forming, where it can be cleaved 
into blocks of regular shape and uniform size, a most elegant 
and durable building material. 

In the vicinity of Theresa, Redwood, etc., there occurs 
in numerous places in this rock the cylindrical structure, 
common at many localities in St. Lawrence county,* and 
apparently produced by eddies acting upon the sands at 
the bottom of shallow water. This formation is generally in 
thick masses, often disturbed by upheavals, almost invari- 
ably inclined from the horizontal, and seldom in this county 
so evenly stratified as to admit of that uniformity of frac- 
ture that gives value to it as a building material at Potsdam, 
Malone, etc. It is, however, extensively used for this pur- 
pose, and forms a cheap and durable, but not an elegant 
wall. This rock has two applications in the useful arts, of 
great importfince, — the lining of blast furnaces, and the 

■-"■' HietQry of St, Lawrence and Franklin counties, p. 678. — Hough, 

manufacture of glass ; for the former of which it has been 
used extensively at all the furnaces in the northern counties, 
and for the latter at Redwood. The quarry that has been 
most used for lining stone occurs on the farm of Hiram 
B. Keeno, in Antwerp, where the rock occurs highly in- 
clined, but capable of being divided into blocks of uniform 
texture and any desirable size. The edges of the stone, 
when laid in the furnace, are exposed to the fire, and become 
slightly fused, forming a glazing to the surface. It is seldom 
thiTt a material is found so finely adapted to this purpose. 
For the manufacture of glass the stone is calcined in kilns, 
and crushed and sifted, when it affords a sand of much 
whiteness, and eminently suitable for the purpose. 

This rock is generally overlaid by a fertile soil, but this is 
more due to the accidental deposition of drift than the dis- 
integration of the rock itself, for such is its permanence 
that it can scarcely be found to have yielded to the destruc- 
tive agencies that have covered many other rocks with soil. 
On account of its capacity to resist decay it should be se- 
lected, when possible, for the piers of bridges, the founda- 
tion of houses, and other structures where permanence and 
solidity are required. A very peculiar feature is presented 
by the margin of this rock, which, by the practiced eye, 
may be detected at a distance, and which strongly dis- 
tinguishes it from all others. The outline is generally an 
abrupt escarpment, sometimes extending with much regu- 
larity for miles, occaiioiially broken by broad ragged ravines, 
or existing as outstanding insular masses, and always pre- 
senting, along the foot of the precipice, huge masses of 
rock that have fallen from above. The most remarkable 
teri'ace of this kind begins on the north shore of Black 
lake, in Morristown, and extends through Hammond into 
Alexandria, much of the distance near the line of the Mili- 
tary road, and other instances are common throughout the 
region underlaid by this rock. 

Next in the ascending series is a rook which, in this part 
of the State, constitutes a thin but level formation, and, from 
its being a sandy limestone, has been named calciferous sand- 
stone. It has generally an open, porous texture, much dis- 
colored by iron, and occasionally, like some strata of the 
sandstone beneath it, filled with small masses of incoherent 
sand, that easily falls out, leaving irregular cells. It is this 
rock that contains the beautiful quartz crystals for which 
Middleville and the vicinity of Rockton, in Herkimer 
county, have become celebrated. It appears as the surface 
rock between Antwerp and Carthage ; between the Check- 
ered House, in Wilna, and the Natural Bridge ; between 
Antwerp and Sterlingville ; and in Theresa, Alexandria, 
Orleans, and Clayton. It is valueless as a building mate- 
rial, from its coarse, rotten texture, and want of regular 
fracture. In many places it is filled with the forms of 
marine plants, which, though obscure, are conclusive and 
appear to have been like some still existing, with thick 
succulent, hollow stems. Shells are less common and are 
but imperfectly preserved, constituting seven o-enera and 
about a dozen species. Of the probable condition of the 
earth's surface when this rock was forming, Prof Hall I ■ 
made the following remarks :'j' 

t Palaeontology of New York, i. 5. 



" During the progress of this formation, and towards its 
close, a considerable number of forms of animal life appear 
to have been called into existence. We have passed from 
that condition of the earth unfavorable to animal develop- 
ment, and we perceive the gradual change which, in the 
next period, presents us wiih swarms of animated existences. 
If we can, in imagination, allow ourselves to go back to the 
preceding epoch, — to fancy the earth enveloped in one waste 
of ocean, save, perhaps, a few rocky peaks ; when the natu- 
ral agitation of the waters by the winds was increased by 
volcanic or igneous outburstings ; while the rooky points 
were abraded, and thence fine sand and pebbles spread over 
the bed of the ocean, — we behold life, struggling into exist- 
ence in this stormy period, only manifested in the fragile 
yet enduring form of the little Lingula, while an apparently 
rootless, leafless plant is the representative of the vegetable 

" Look forward from this period to a gradual change. A 
more congenial element to the inhabitants of the ocean 
comes in the form of calcareous matter, and new organisms 
are gradually called into existence. Still the heated waters 
bear their burden of silex in solution, and now they permeate 
every portion of this habitation of the new-born vitality, 
destroying the living, enveloping the dead in a siliceous 
paste, and preventing that development of numbers which 
awaits only a more congenial condition." 

Next above this rock is the Chazy limestone, that 
occurs highly developed, and abounding in organic remains, 
but, according to Professor Emmons, does not appear in the 
Black River valley. The next rock there is the Bird's-Eye 
limestone, which includes the close-grained, hard, and 
thick-bedded strata, in which the layers of water limestone 
occur in Le Ray, Pamelia, Orleans, Brownville, and Clay- 
ton. The properties which give it value as a hydraulic 
cement are uncertain, as upon analysis it is found to con- 
tain variable proportions of silica, alumina, and magnesia. 
Its characteristic fossil, in the manner in which its vertical 
stems divide and interlace with each other, presents features 
totally distinct from any known analogy, either in marine 
plants or the zoophytes. These stems are tilled with crj's- 
talline matter, and often make up a great part of its mass. 
It has received from Professor Hall the generic name of 
JPhylopsfs,* of which there are two species,-^ i-". tabulosuni 
and P. cellalosum, — both of which occur abundantly in this 
county. When polished this rock presents an appearance 
which has given it the name, and in quarrying it readily 
breaks into regular masses. Its brittleness, when struck 
with a smart blow, prevents it being useful as a marble. 

This forms the surface rock over a considerable extent of 
Cape Vincent, Lyme, Brownville, Pamelia, Le Ray, and 
Wilna. The part that overlies the yellowish or water lime 
strata abounds in nodules of flint that everywhere stand in 
relief upon the weathered surface. These are thought to be 
the fossil remains of sponges, or other forms of animal life 
analogous. These masses of flint often contain shells, 
corals, crinoidea, and obscure traces of other organic bodies 
that flourished in the seas in which this rock was deposited. 
Perhaps the most striking of these fossils is the Orthoceras 

* PalsBOntology of New York, i. 38. 

multicameratum, which is very common. Specimens are 
found of shells of a class analogous, of the enormous length 
of ten feet and breadth of twelve inches.f Besides the 
obscure fossil whose doubtful nature we have above noticed,^ 
six genera and about a dozen species have been described. 

The Blade River limestone, in the classification of Pro- 
fessor Hall (the Isle La Motte marble of Professor Em- 
mons), is interposed between the rock last named and the 
Trenton limestone. It is a well-defined mass of grayish- 
blue limestone, in this county not exceeding ten feet in 
thickness, but in its fossils clearly distinct from the strata 
above and below it. Five genera and six species of corals, 
and five genera and ten species of cephalopoda, are described 
in the State Palaeontology as occurring in this rock. 

The delicacy of markings upon the surfaces of some of 
these corals, when magnified, is beautiful ; and their difier- 
ences afford the ground of classification of families and the 
generic and specific distinctions. 

Another coral is of frequent occurrence in the Black 
river limestone. It is sometimes seen of the size of half 
a bushel, and in the Mohawk valley much larger. It is 
commonly mistaken by the unobserving tor petrified honey- 
comb, which in some respects it resembles. 


It is this formation that contains the caverns of Water- 
town, Pamelia, and Brownville, concerning which many 
fabulous accounts have been told. We have endeavored to 
obtain authentic information on this subject by a personal 

In Pamelia, opposite the village of Watertown, and in 
the immediate vicinity of the cascade, is a cavern that has 
attained quite a notoriety, and will amply repay the curious 
visitor who may undertake to explore it. It was discovered 
in the spring of 1822, and for a short time was exhibited 
for pay. The opening is in a natural depression, and by 
a slopitfg passage leads to a chamber about twenty feet 
below the surface, from which avenues lead in various direc- 
tions, frequently communicating with each other, and form- 
ing a labyrinth of much intricacy. When first observed, 
it was beautifully adorned with curtains and drapery of 
lime, deposited from the ceaseless dripping of water charged 
with that mineral. In some of the remote chambers and 
avenues, these deposits, of dazzling whiteness, still exist in 
great profusion, but the wanton depredations of visitors have 
done much towards destroying those that occurred in the 
more frequented part of the cavern. In numerous instances 
huge tables of rook have fallen from the roof, allowino- a 
passage both above and below them. The pendent masses 
are usually flat, with their sides waved and edges serrated, 
and the surface below them is often beautifully formed into 
basins and cells, usually filled with limpid water. Occa- 
sionally the masses from above, meeting those from below 
form pillars of great size. Slight dams of tufa are of 
frequent occurrence, forming shallow pools of water and 
lime-sediment. Altogether, from its convenience of access 
safety, and beauty, this place is well worthy of attention. 

■f Report of Professor Emmons on the Geology of the 2d District 
p. 382. 

\ PhytopsiH celliUoeutu. 



Conflicting accounts existing in relation to the extent of 
this cavern, the author, in company with a friend, explored 
it, with a view of ascertaining this point, and was only able 
to penetrate about seventy fathoms from the chamber at the 
foot of the outlet. The temperature of the water in June 
was 43°, and in winter it never freezes. It probably varies 
but little with external changes. 

On the north bank of Black river, opposite Factory 
village, in Watertown, are several eaves of limited extent, 
which oifer no calcareous incrustations of interest. The 
principal of these opens at its two ends upon the river 
bank. They are chiefly interesting from the evidence they 
furnish of having been formed by water running along the 
natural seams in the rooks. 

On the south bank of the river, in Watertown village, 
and under the termination of Jackson street, is the en- 
trance of a cave, which was first explored in the summer 
of 1838, and is said to have been traced nearly five hun- 
dred feet. It affords calcareous concretions of a peculiar 
variety, externally resembling pisolite, and formed by the 
agglutination of spheroidal granules of carbonate of lime. 
It is known as the ice cave, from the occurrence of ice in 
the summer months, which almost obstructs its passages. 
Towards autumn the rocks above become warmed, and the 
ice melts, nor does the freezing process become established 
till near spring. From the slow transmission of heat the 
seasons thus become reversed in this cavern. A current of 
cold air issues from over this mass of subterranean ice, 
which, when the air is warm and damp, becomes a dense 
fog. When the temperature in the shade was 92°, that at 
the mouth of this cave. has been noticed to be 32°. 

In the town of Watertown, near the bank of the river, 
and about a mile from the village of Biownville, there 
occurs in a wood a sunken place, around and in the vicin- 
ity of which are numerous avenues, leading under ground, 
and communicating with each other by innumerable passages. 
Almost every natural seam in the rock has been widened 
into a space large enoijgh to admit of the passage of a man, 
and sometimes opening into wide and lofty halls, of which 
several are found radiating from a central point. The 
form of these subterranean vaults is that of the Gothic 
arch, springing from the floor, and forming an acute angle 
above. The extreme distance that this cave can be traced 
is less than thirty rods. It affords no calcareous deposits 
of interest, and its only peculiarity consists in the numer- 
ous projecting masses of flint on the walls, which have re- 
sisted the decomposing action to which the rock has 
yielded. The floor of the cave is generally covered with 
mud or water. 

On the west bank of Perch river, near the village of 
Limerick, is a cavern, which, after passing twenty-four 
yards, opens into an external pa.ssage, from whence, de- 
scending to a level about thirty feet below the surface, it 
proceeds sixty-three yards farther, through a passage in 
some places quite lofty and flat-roofed, to a low horizontal 
chamber, beyond which, by creeping, one can proceed to a, 
distance of one hundred and fifty-four yards from the en- 
trance to the extremity. It differs from all the others 
above described in having no lateral passages, nor does it 
aiford calcareous deposits. 


There probably exist other caverns in the county, 
analogy would lead us to the belief that they are of I'D" ® 
extent. So far as observed, they agree in affording e 
dence of having been worn by running water in early ti , 
and in occurring in the same stratum. The Ormoceras, 
Endoceras, and other fossils characteristic of the rock are 
seen exposed in relief on the walls of the caves in many 

It is to be observed of the strata that intervene between 
the water lime and the Trenton limestone, that from their 
soluble nature the natural seams have generally been 
widened into open chasms, and that from this cause streams 
of water often find their way under ground in dry seasons. 
Although generally horizontal, the strata are occasionally 
disturbed by upheavals, as is seen at several places along 
the line of the railroad between Chaumont and Cape Vin- 
cent. These disturbances are generally limited to a few 
rods, and often to a few yards. These rocks often afford 
an excellent building material, and are quarried extensively 
at Chaumont for locks and other public works. The black 
marble of Glen's Falls is derived from strata corresponding 
with the upper portion of these. 

The next rock above those above described is named the 
Trenton limestone, which mostly constitutes the rock under- 
lying the soil in Champion, Rutland, Watertown, Houns- 
field, Henderson, Ellisburg, Adams, and a part of Rod- 
man and Brownville. In extent, thickness, number of 
fossil remains, and economical importance it far surpasses 
the others, and as a material for building and the manufac- 
ture of lime it has few superiors. Its color is usually gray, 
its fracture more or less crystalline, occurring usually in 
strata nearly or quite horizontal, and often separated by 
thin layers of shale. Man^ of its fossils are common with 
the slates above. 

Fossil plants of the lower orders are somewhat common, 
but are limited to a few species. Of corals the number is 
greater ; twenty different species of zoophytes are found in 
this rock. Of that singular class of animals called trilohites, 
of which there are at present but few living analogies, the 
Trenton limestone furnishes several species. This animal 
possessed the power of coiling up into a ball, and of flat- 
tening itself out. Detached portions are of frequent 
occurrence ; the head, tail, and parts of the body being 
often found separately. Of shells, this rock affords a very 
great variety. 

The thickness of this rock can not be less than five hun- 
dred feet. Its stratification is generally nearly horizontal, 
and disturbances when they occur are usually quite limited. 
In some places it contains veins of calcite, and of heavy 
spar, the latter, in Adams, being associated with fluor spar. 

Resting upon the Trenton limestone, with which in the 

bed of Sandy creek, in Rodman, it is .seen in contact is a 

soft black slate, readily crumbling to fragments under the 

action of frost, and divided by vertical parallel seams into 

regular masses. From its occurrence in the hills -th f 

Utica, it has been called Utica slate. Tt Vi„ , > 
„,',.,,, „ , ^' nas not been 

found applicable to any useful purpose, althouoli 


ments have been made to test its value as a lifV, 

Where sulphuret of iron could be procured the m 

of alum might be attempted with prospect of su *^ ^^^ 



Fossils are common, but less numerous in this rock than 
in those below it. Several of these are common in the 
rocks above and below this. 

Only one species of trilobite is found in this slate, though 
found both above and below it. 

The graplolitUus is numerous both in individuals and 
species in the shales on the Hudson river. Being often 
compressed, their true nature was for some time unknown,* 
and they were classed with plants by some writers. When 
preserved in calcareous matter their true nature becomes 
more apparent, and show them to have been animals of the 
lower orders, with a semi-calcareous body and a corticiforni 
covering. Sulphur springs are of frequent occurrence in 
this rock, and native sulphur is sometimes noticed incrust- 
ing the surfaces in ravines, where waters charged with 
sulphuretted hydrogen have been exposed to vegetable 

Covering this formation, and constituting the superficial 
rock of Lorraine, Worth, and part of Rodman, is a series 
consisting of alternating layers of shale and slate, some of 
which are highly fossiliferous, and others entirely destitute 
of organic remains. From the remarkable development of 
this rock in Lorraine, it has received the name of Lorraine 
shales. For a similar reason it is known elsewhere as the 
Hudson river group, from its forming the highly-inclined 
shales that occur, of enormous thickness, in the valley of 
the Hudson. This rock is nearly worthless for any useful 
purpose, although at Pulaski and elsewhere layers are 
found that are adapted for building. The mineral springs 
of Saratoga arise from this rock. Having thus briefly 
enumerated the leading geological features of the county, 
some generalizations of the several rocky formations may 
be made. 


To one accustomed to close and careful observation, the 
features of a country and the contour of its hills afford a 
reliable means of opinion on the character of the subjacent 
rock. There pertains to each of these in this county a pe- 
culiarity of profile, when exposed in the brow of hills, 
that is as constant and as unmistakable as any class of phe- 
nomena offered to the observation of geologists ; and these 
distinctive features arise from the greater or less facility 
with which the several rocks yield to disintegrating forces. 
The shales and slates being easily decomposed, and offering 
little resistance to the action of running water, present a 
rounded outline; running streams have here worn deep, 
winding gulfs, through which the channels meander, wash- 
ing alternately the right bank and the left, affording a suc- 
cession of crumbling precipices, often of romantic beauty, 
and spreading over the plains, where they issue from the 
hills, the broken materials brought down from the ravines. 
The rock is everywhere covered with soil, derived from its 
own disintegration, and is inclined to clay, from which 
cause, when level, there is a tendency to the formation of 
swamps, from the impermeable character of this material. 
The soil is generally fertile, and especially adapted to graz- 
ing. Wherever diluvial action has existed, it has worn. 

■ Palaeontology of New York, i. 265. 

with little difficulty, broad valleys, and removed immense 
quantities of the detritus to other places. 

These shales form a ridge of highlands, extending from 
this county, through Oswego, Lewis, Oneida, and Herkimer 
counties, being known in Lewis as Tug hill. The margin 
of this elevated tract is worn into deep ravines; but when 
the head of these is reached, the country becomes level and 
sometimes swampy, with frequent beaver meadows. The 
streams are sluggish and miry, and the water highly dis- 
colored, probably from the presence of the black oxide of 
manganese, that is of frequent occurrence in the swamps, 
and is found coating the bowlders exposed to running 
water. The junction between the Utiea slate and Trenton 
limestone is generally concealed by deep deposits, brought 
down from the upper formation. 

The change, where observed in the bed of Sandy creek, 
is well defined, there being no blending of the two rocks. 
Along the base of the slate is usually a strip of clay, a few 
rods in width, but continuing for considerable distances. 
The thickness of these shales in the ridge of highlands 
extending towards Utica, cannot be less than five hundred 
feet. Local disturbances are but seldom seen, and the 
stratification is usually horizontal. 

The limestone occurs in terraces, with st«ep but not pre- 
cipitous margins, the whole of which is covered with a soil 
derived from its own decomposition, where not protected 
by drift. The soil is inclined to be thin, and consequently 
liable to be affected with drouth, but is extremely fertile, 
and alike adapted to grass and grain. The richest and best 
portions of Jefferson County, if not in the State, are under- 
laid by this rock. Running streams, when small, do not 
wear ravines, but fall down the slope of the terraces in 
pretty cascades, broken into foam and noisy from the nu- 
merous points of resistance which they meet. 

The Burrville cascades have been before noticed, and are 
among the most romantic and pleasing which the country 
affords. Streams, if large, and especially if liable to be 
swollen into impetuous torrents, wear gulfs of short extent 
into the plains from which they flow ; and where these rocks 
form the beds of streams, the latter have worn channels of 
sufficient depth to contain the ordinary volume of the 
stream only; where the surface has been protected by a 
drift deposit, but not often elsewhere, it presents the marks 
of attrition of the drift period ; springs are of frequent 
occurrence, oftener near the foot of the terraces, and the 
water is limpid, but unfit for washing, from being charged 
with lime. 

The calciferous sandstone presents a flat country, with 
few valleys, and those but a few feet below the level of the 
adjacent plains. The rock is covered with a very thin soil, 
derived from its own decomposition, but one of much rich- 
ness, from the presence of lime. It seldom descends by a 
gentle slope into the valleys, but presents a shelving ledge, 
very peculiar to this rock, in this section of the State. 
Swamps, when they occur, are bordered with this sharp 
margin of rock, and have a deep soil, as if they had 
anciently been lakes. When springs exist, they are com- 
monly hard, from the lime which the rock contains. 

The Potsdam sandstone generally presents a level surface, 
but more liable to upheavals, and is covered with soil en- 



tirely brought from other formations, and varies in quality 
■with sources from which it has been derived. Tiiis rock 
never presents a fertile slope into the valleys, but is bor- 
dered with ahmpt precipices, at the foot of which are piled 
huge masses that have tumbled from the face of the ledge. 
The primitive rocks of tlie county present a constant 
succession of abrupt rounded ridges, scantily covered in 
the state of nature with timber, and, when cleared, with a 
thin soil, with intervening valleys of considerable fertility, 
that have received their soil from the wash of the hills. 
The nature and amount of soil varies with the rock, and is 
abundant and fertile where limestone and feldspar abound 
as its constituents, but much less so where the chief ele- 
ment is quartz. The fact is observable, that the south slope 
of the hills is more abrupt than the north, as if they had 
been more upheaved. The prevailing dip of the strata of 
gneiss is towards the north or northwest, where observed 
in this county. 

Drift deposits occur promiscuously over rocks of every 
age, covering them unequally with transported materials, 
and, when occurring in hills, presenting that rounded and 
conical outline often seen in snow-drifts. Having been 
deposited in moving water, wherever a sheltered point or 
conflicting currents favored, they were subject to all the 
dynamic laws which modify the motions of solids moving 
in fluids. These deposits may be distinguished from soil 
underlaid by rock by the endless variety of rounded outline 
which they present, and are invariably covered with vege- 

About a third of the county, in its central part, lies in 
the valley of Black river, the remainder being drained by 
Sandy creek, Indian river, and the minor streams running 
into the lake and St. Lawrence. E. H. Brodhead* estimated 
its volume, at low water, at ninety-four thousand cubic feet 
per minute ; that of the Oswegatchie being twenty thou- 
sand, and of Indian river, three thousand."!" ^^® river de- 
scends four hundred and eighty feet between Carthage and 
the lake, giving a power equal to one hundred and thirty- 
five thousand three hundred and sixty horses, working eight 
hours a day. In this distance, at the present time (1854), 
the water passes over thirteen dams, at none of which the 
entire amount of water is used, and at most of them but a 
very small portion is employed. Although Indian river 
and several of its tributaries, and the two branches of Sandy 
creek, and other streams of less note afford at many points 
eligible sites for hydraulic purposes, yet their aggregate is 
far below that afforded by Black river, which, at a future 
time, will doubtless be improved to an extent infinitely sur- 
passing the most sanguine anticipations of the present age. 
This river has proved somewhat subject to floods, which 
requires the exercise of care in locating buildings upon its 
banks ; but from its bed being generally rock, ample means 
are available for the security of dams, which have been 
seldom or never swept off. 

From the extent and number of the lakes that exist near 
the sources of this river and its tributaries, in the primary 
region of Lewis and Herkimer counties, no apprehension 

'■'=' Report of Black Kiver canal extension, Assem. Doc., 1840, Wo. 
233, p)i. 36, iO. 
t lb., p. 36. 

need be felt that the opposite extreme of drouth will neces- 
sarily occur in future, for, by constructing dams and sluices 
at the outlets of these lakes, they may be cheaply converted 
into immense reservoirs to retain the spring floods resulting 
from the melting of winter snows, and equalize the dis- 
charge through the dry season ; thus serving the double 
purpose of.preventing excessive freshets or extreme drouth. 
The greatest freshet known occurred in the spring of 
1807, from the melting of spring snows. In 1818, in May, 
1833, in 1839, 1841, and 1843, were heavy spring floods. 

has many features in its geology of engaging interest. Its 
length is one hundred and seventy-two miles, and greatest 
breadth fifty-nine and a half miles. According to the 
chart of Captain A. Ford, U. S. N., its greatest depth is 
ninety-five fathoms, and its elevation above tide being but 
two hundred and thirty-four feet, % it would still be a lake 
if the outlet was deepened so as to allow the tide to flow up 
to it. The east end of the lake is, to some extent, bordered 
by low sand-hills, behind which are marshes ; the south 
shore is moderately elevated, the north and northwest more 
elevated, and much of the way rocky. Its waters are sub- 
ject to changes of level that occupy several years, but 
appear to be governed by no other causes than the unequal 
supply from tributaries. It is a somewhat curious fact that 
the highest water frequently occurs in the dryest and 
warmest months, when the evaporation is greatest, — July, 
August, and September. This is accounted for from an- 
other fact, — that the great supply comes from the upper 
lakes, whose affluents, especially those of Lakes Superior 
and Huron, reach high latitudes, where the snow lingers 
long in the spring, and whose surplus waters are also held 
back by the enormous outspread upon the lakes. Low 
water is said to have occurred in 1803, 1804, 1808 to 1811, 
1822 to 1828, 1844 to 1850 ; high water is mentioned in 
1798, 1805 to 1807, 1812 to 1819, 1829 to 1831, 1837 to 
1839, 1852, 1853 ; middling height in 1820, 1821, 1832 to 
183G, 1840, 1841, 1851. The water at this time, October, 
1877, is also very low. The change of level is about five 

Charlevoix, in 1721, noticed a periodical flux and reflux 
of the lake, recurring at intervals of a few minutes, and by 
him ascribed to springs at the bottom of the lake, and the 
shock of rivers discharging into it. This flow is probably 
caused by the prevalence of distant winds that at times 
create a swell at one end of the lake when it is calm at the 
other. It is further noticed that long prevailing gales from 
the west, from the friction upon the surface, cause the 
waters to rise several feet at the east end. It was from a 
similar cause that a serious inundation occurred on Lake 
Erie, at Buff'alo, in the fall of 1844. 

Waler-spouts have been often seen on the lake, usually 
in the summer or fall, and in showery, fickle weather. They 
are accompanied by black clouds and a roarino- sound. 
When they strike the land they prove to be tornadoes 
tearing up the trees and strewing their track with ruin 

J On Bun-'s State Map, the heigbt of the lake is stated to h 
hundred and tliirty-four feet; the Canadia.n railroad siirve 
two hundred and thirty-eight and a half feet. '^ 



The mirage is a phenomenon frequent in bright, sunny 
weather in summer and fall, elevating distant objects by 
refraction and bringing them nearer. Some remarkable 
instances have been noticed. The most common form of 
this illusion consists in raising distant objects a little into the 
air, the sky seeming to extend under them. 

That the lake once flowed over a large portion of tlie 
county at a very recent geological period is proved by the 
elevated lake ridges, which extend from Oswego county 
through Ellisburg, Adams, Watertown, and Rutland. Mr. 
William Dewey, in surveying the railroad route in 1836, 
thus mentions them : " We found the summit of the 
highest ridge to be about four hundred feet (more exactly, 
three hundred and ninety feet) above Lake Ontario.* Its 
formation ofl^rs a curious subject for geological investiga- 
tion. It is remarkably uniform, and is supposed, in past 
ages, to have constituted the shores" of some great inland, 
sea, whose surface lay far above those mighty forests and 
fertile plains that now form some of the richest portions of 
our State. Frequently three or four successive ridges are 
plainly developed, varying in level from fifteen to twenty 
feet. ... A more beautiful site for the location of a 
railroad could not be desired than the summit of these 
ridges, were not the uniformity of their course frequently 
broken by sharp angles, and interrupted at intervals by deep 
gullies, caused by the action of small streams carrying away 
the very light material of which they are composed. . . . 
This ridge we found to extend on the line of our survey 
about thirty miles from the point where we were first en- 
abled to avail ourselves of its advantage.'' 

Along the brow of the first hill, in going east from 
Watertown, this ridge is cut through in making the plank- 
road, and the beach, with its piles of bowlders below it, may 
he traced each way from this place very easily. Along the 
side of the slope of limestone rock, which approaches Black 
river, below the village of Lockport, may be seen, plainly 
marked, the traces of an ancient beach, at two or three 
difierent levels. The limestone must here have formed a 
bold shore to the lake. 

A curious occurrence of red cedar timber on a small hill 
in Pamelia, about three miles north of Watertown, was 
mentioned to the author by Mr. John Felt, who ingeniously 
suggested that, as the margin of the hill was a bed of smooth 
gravel, and as this timber occurs on islands in the lake, this 
sj)ot might then have been an island. 

Endless speculations might be made on the extent of this 
former lake and the causes that have wrought the change. 
The subject is too extended for our discussion ; but the 
following questions at once arise and would need to be first 
settled. Rome is on a summit, from whence the waters 
flow by Wood creek and the Mohawk in opposite directions. 
It is but thirty-two feet higher than Watertown. The lake 
ridges are two hundred and thirty-two feet above Water- 
town. Queries. Did the lake then flow through the Mo- 
hawk valley? Did it then cover the country down to the 
Noses, on the Mohawk, and the highlands of Quebec ? It 
is quite probable that at the time the sea extended up the 
St. Lawrence valley and filled all the vast basin bounded by 

^ The author is indebted to C. V. R. Hortnu, of Chaumont, for 
these inquiries. — Dr. Hough. 

these lofty terraces, it also communicated with the bay of 
New York by way of Lake Cham plain and the Hudson river, 
and by way of the valley extending from the southeast angle 
of Lake Ontario via Rome and IJtica, and down the Mo- 
hawk to the Hudson, and that the primitive region of New 
York (the Adirondaoks) was then a great island in the sea. 


Earthquakes have several times occurred in this section 
of the country. One is recorded in Canada, February 5, 
166.3, and is related as most terrific and awful. The ice in 
the St. Lawrence was broken up, the earth was violently 
shaken, houses thrown down, and such was the tumult of 
the elements that many believed that the end of the world 
was coming. Several times since the settlement of the 
country slight shocks have been felt. On the 12th of 
March, 1853, at two o'clock a.m., a shock occurred that 
was felt in parts of Lewis and Jefferson counties. It com- 
menced with a rumbling sound that lasted about a minute 
and a half, and was attended with a deep rolling thunder. 
It is credibly related that in Champion the snow, then 
covered by a strong crust, was found broken into fissures 
by the movement. 

.The New York Reformer of November 8, 1860, de- 
scribes an earthquake felt on the 26th of October, 1860, 
at seven p.m., in Ellisburg, Henderson, and Adams, ac- 
companied by a heavy, subterranean, rumbling noise, last- 
ing ten seconds. The sound and agitation passed from 
south to north, and buildings were considerably shaken 
during its continuance. 


Several remarkable valleys occur in the county, that 
must be attributed to causes that have long since ceased to 
operate. That of Rutland hollow, parallel with Black river, 
has been noticed."}" It is continued across the towns of 
Watertown, Hounsfield, and Henderson, by way of Smith- 
ville, to the lake, having both of its sides composed of 
Trenton limestone. It was probably formed by the same 
agencies that have removed the Trenton from over the 
lower limestones, north of Black river; transported vast 
quantities of loose materials from the distant primary 
regions, and deposited them as bowlders, gravel, hard-pan, 
sand, and clays, promiscuously over the other formations. 
The surface rock often presents a polished and grooved 
appearance, and at no locality is this more wonderfully 
shown than at the lailroad bridge below Watertown village. 
The grooves are here widened and deepened into trnugiis, 
that obliquely cross the bed of the river, having their sur- 
faces polished and scratched, showing that the rock was 
then as firm and unyielding as now. These furrows are 
from one to three feet deep, and from five to ten feet wide. 


Anthracite has been observed in minute quantities, 
glazing the surface and lining the cavities of fossils, in the 
Trenton limestone at Watertown. In minute quantities 

f This is most probably one of the abandoned beds of Blaoli river. 
— Ens. 



and thin seams it has also been noticed in Utioa slate, in 
the southwestern border of the county. 

Apatite (phosphate of lime) is rarely found in small 
crystals near Ox Bow, in white limestone, with pargasite, 
etc. On Butterfield lake it occurs massive. It is also 
found near Grass lake, in Theresa. A most remarkable 
locality of this mineral occurs in Rossie, near this lake. 
When in quantity, it is prized as a fertilizing agent, being 
in chemical composition analagous to burnt bones. It is 
also used in assaying gold and silver. 

Azurite (blue carb. copper) occurs with the green car- 
bonate on an island in Muskelunge lake, Theresa. 

Calcite (carbonate of lime), besides forming a principal 
constituent of white and secondary limestone, occurs, often 
crystallized in groups of great beauty, at Ox Bow, and on 
the banks of Vrooman lake. Huge crystals, some nearly 
transparent, and tinged of a delicate pink, were found on 
the farm of Mr. Benton many years since, and the locality 
here still affords many interesting forms. Veins of white 
spar are common in fossiliferous limestones, and the cavi- 
ties of fossils are very often lined with crystals. It occurs 
also in minute veins in shale. Tufa is found in a few 
limestone springs, and agaric mineral abounds in the caves 
in Pamelia, opposite Watertown. Marl occurs in Pleasant 
lake. Champion. Satin spar occurs near Ox Bow, not far 
from Pulpit rock. 

Celestine (sulphate of strontia) is said to occur in Tren- 
ton limestone, in disseminated nodules. The quantity must 
be small, and its existence is somewhat uncertain. 

Chalcodite. — Under this name has been described, by 
Professor C. U. Sheppard, of New Haven,* a mineral 
which had previously been considered cacoxene.f It occurs 
in minute globular and stellar groups, on surfaces of specu- 
lar iron ore, of a yellow color, fibrous texture, and so 
slightly coherent as to be easily broken by contact with a 
solid body. Surfaces covered with this mineral are fre- 
quently obtained at the Sterling iron mine, in Antwerp, at 
which locality alone, in this section of the State, it has been 
found. It is interesting for its rarity more than its splendor. 
Chondrodite has been observed in small quantities, with 
spinel, in Antwerp. 

Chlorite has been detected in bowlders, but is not com- 

Copper pyrites has been found at several localities in 
Antwerp, adjacent to Vrooman lake, and near the Ox Bow, 
and also about three miles from Natural Bridge, in Wilna, 
where it was wrought to some extent, late in the fall of 
1847, by a Boston company. This mineral has not hitherto 
been found in sufficient quantities to pay the cost of mining 
in this section of the State. 

Duhmite occurs often disseminated in white limestone, 
where, from its ability to resist solution, it remains in relief 
upon the weathered surface, in prominent masses. Pearl 
spar is found at Ox Bow, coating crystals of calcite. An- 
keritc has been attributed to the iron mines of this county, 
but we have never been able to distinguish it from spathic 

* Proceedings of American Association, Albany, 1851, p. 232. 
f N. Y. (icologioal Rep., 1840, p. 110. Dr. Beclt's Min. Kep., p. 
402.'s Mineralogy, 3d ed., p. 232, etc. 

Epidote, in granular masses, disseminated in bowlde 
greenstone, is of frequent occurrence. It has not been i 
iix situ in the county. 

Feldspar (orthoolase), besides forming a common in^ 
dient in gneiss, often occurs, highly crystallized, m 
werp and Theresa, near Grass lake, etc. Porphyry occurs 
in bowlders and trap, and greenstone both in bowlders and 
dikes. The latter occur with peculiar interest and variety 
in Antwerp, between Vrooman and Muskelunge lakes. 
Dikes of great width are observed in the neighboring town 
of Rossie. 

Fluor Spar. — The most remarkable locality of this 
mineral in the State was discovered about fifteen years since, 
on the east bank of Muskelunge lake, in Theresa, in a vein 
of considerable width, with calcite and heavy spar. Cubic 
crystals, a foot in diameter, quite transparent, and yielding 
by cleavage an octahedron, wei-e procured here. With 
heavy spar, in Adams, green crystals occur of small size, 
and it is more abundantly diffused in a massive state. 
Rarely, cavities in fossils in the Trenton limestone are 
lined with small crystals of this mineral. 

Garnet is common in bowlders, but otherwise does not 
here occur. 

Graphite (black-lead) occurs in minute scales, to a small 
extent, in the white limestone of Antwerp. 

Heavy Spar (sulphate of barytes). — One of the most 
interesting localities of this mineral in the State occurs on 
Pillar Point, in Brownville, on the shore facing Chaiimont 
bay and Cherry island. It occupies a vein in Trenton lime- 
stone from one to two feet thick, and is chiefly interesting 
for the delicate alternations of color, in zones and bands, 
which become apparent upon the polished surface. It has 
been wrought to a considerable extent as a material for 
lithic paint, but has lately (1854) been purchased from its 
supposed importance in indicating the existence of metallic 
ores, although none have hitherto been observed in its 

In Antwerp, about a mile east from the Ox Bow, on the 
farm of Robert Dean, occurs an interesting locality of this 
mineral, in a cavity or vein of white limestone. The cavi- 
ties often present globular surfaces, studded with crystals. 
The mineral is much stained with the yellow oxide of iron ; 
but where it has not been exposed to the weather it is 
sometimes white. No metallic associates have been noticed 

In the town of Theresa, an interesting locality of highly 
crystalline heavy spar, which has been suspected to contain 
strontia, occurs. The banks of Muskelunge lake afford small 
but elegant crystals. In Adams, near the north border, and 
about two miles northwest from Adams Centre depot, on 
the farms of Calvin Warrener, H. Colton, and others, is a 
very remarkable locality of this mineral. A rago-ed and 
very irregular vein has here been traced more than a mile 
nearly east and west, in a hill of Trenton limestone that 
rises on three sides to a commanding height, and overlooks 
the country north and west to a great distance. About 
1845, it came to the notice of a paint-nianufacturino- 
pany in Brownville, and about fifty tons have been re" A 
for that purpose, on a ten years' lease, givinsr fif,.,, „ ^ 

1 ^ • u . \. I. X J ,o ""y cents per 

perch tribute. A perch when prepared makes twn ti, , 

" >-uousand 



five hundred pounds of paint. The mineral in Adams is 
much mingled with the limestone, through which it sends 
thin veins, and detached masses of the latter frequently 
occur imbedded. Its structure is compact, color white or 
flesh-colored, and inclined to assume the peculiar waved and 
contorted appearance common at the Pillar Point locality. 
Heavy spar has been extensively used, at Brownville, to 
adulterate white-lead. This manufacture has been aban- 
doned, and will not probably be resumed. 

Hornblende. — Besides being a common constituent of 
gneiss, numerous varieties of this rock occur in bowlders 
and rocky strata, among which are the following : Ampliibole 
(basaltic hornblende) is found in bowlders in crystals, firmly 
imbedded in trap and greenstone. Tremoli'te is found in 
bowlders of white limestone, and occasionally in small 
quantities in Antwerp and in Wilna, near Natural Bridge. 
Diallage is rarely found in bowlders of chloritic slate. Pur- 
gasite, in beautiful green crystals, occurs in white limestone 
at numerous localities near Ok Bow, and in a neighborhood 
known as New Connecticut, in Antwerp, near the Ox Bow. 
It is commonly found with apatite, crystallized feldspar, and 
sphene. The crystals are small, but usually well defined, 
and sometimes occur in radiating clusters. Amiavthos and 
asbestos are found in minute quantities in bowlders of ser- 
pentine. The latter also occurs half a mile from Theresa 
village. Besides these varieties, hornblende is found in 
bowlders, coarsely crystalline, slaty, and compact, and of 
the latter a variety containing grains of garnet is extremely 
tough. This mineral does not of itself occur in rooky 
masses in our county, and the source from whence these 
bowlders are derived must be distant. 

Idocrase, in small brown crystals, occurs occasionally on 
the banks of Vrooman lake, near Ox Bow. It has been 
found in larger crystals, in bowlders, in Antwerp. 

Iron Pyrites (sulphuret of iron) occurs in the iron mines 
of Antwerp, in Wilna, Theresa, Alexandria, and, more 
rarely, in thin veins and grains in Trenton limestone. Its 
most interesting form is where it is found replacing the 
substance of organic remains, which, when first removed, 
possess the lustre and color of brass, but soon decompose in 
the air. From the character of our geology, this mineral 
can scarcely be expected to occur in profitable quantities 
for the manufacture of copperas, alum, or soda ash, in the 
county. It has been found in veins of spar, in Trenton 
limestone, in nodules with a radiating fibrous texture. 
This is the mundic of Cornish miners. 

Labradorite (opalescent feldspar) is occasionally found in 
bowlders, but less commonly than in St. Lawrence county. - 

Limonite. — Bog iron ores are common in swamps in 
Wilna, and adjacent to the river above, where they have 
been extensively used in making iron. They occur in the 
form of an earthy loam, coarse granules, and solid masses, 
the latter often containing the forms of roots and leaves, 
which have had their substance replaced by this ore. 
Ochre occurs in Champion and other towns, in small quan- 

Magnetite. — Magnetic iron ore, in crystalline blades, dis- 
seminated in gneiss, has been observed in the town of Alex- 
andria in sufficient abundance to lead to the belief that 
it might be wrought with profit. It is a common ingre- 

dient in that rock, and its disintegration affords the black 
magnetic writing-sand frequently met with on the banks 
of rivers and lakes. When abundant, this is one of the 
most valuable ores of iron. The primitive region of Alex- 
andria and Wilna may perhaps be found to contain it in 
profitable quantities. 

Maluchite (green carbonate of copper) is found in small 
quantities, investing other minerals, at Muskelunge lake, 

Millerite (sulphuret of nickel) was first noticed by the 
author* (^American Journal of Science, 2d series, vol. ix., 
287), in 1848, at the Sterling iron mine, in Antwerp, oc- 
curring in delicate needle-shaped prisms, in cavities of iron 
ore, associated with spathic iron, chalcodite, and iron py- 
rites. This delicate and very rare mineral is crystallized in 
hexagonal prisms, the largest of which are one-sixtieth of 
an inch in diameter, and about half an inch long, usually 
radiating from a central point in tufts, like the down of the 
thistle, and it has the color and splendor of gold. 

Muscovite (mica) occurs rarely in bowlders of granite. 

Naphtha. — While excavating the wheel-pits of the Jef- 
ferson cotton-mills at Watertown, the limestone was found 
in one place to contain in a cavity about a gill of a yellow- 
ish, oily fluid, which emitted a strong bituminous odor, and 
burned freely. Other instances have been mentioned, but 
on uncertain authority, and in no case has an opportunity 
occurred of applying decisive tests. 

Phlogopile. — This mica occurs frequently in the white 
limestone, but not in sufficient quantity or in plates of a 
size that give it interest or value. It is found on an island 
in Mill Seat lake in small quantities, and at a few localities 
near Ox Bow. At Vrooman lake a highly crystallized va- 
riety occurs, in which sharply-defined prisms and groups of 
crystals are found in great abundance. These crystals pre- 
sent, by transmitted light, a dove-brown color, but they are 
seldom found transparent of any considerable size. By 
some strange accident the town of Henderson has been 
often quoted as a locality of mica. None can occur here, 
as it is entirely underlaid by Trenton limestone. The 
white limestone is seldom found in quantity without con- 
taining this mineral. 

Pyroxene is common in our primitive rocks. On Grass 
lake, in Theresa, it is found white and crystallized, in groups. 
Near Ox Bow it has been found in small quantities, and 
near Natural Bridge in large black crystals, with sphene, 
etc. Coccolite occurs in the same vicinity, imbedded in 
WoUastonite, and rarely in bowlders. 

Quartz. — This abundant mineral, besides forming the 
greatest proportion of primary rock, and almost the sole 
material of sandstone, is rarely found crystallized. On But- 
terfield lake, and at several localities in Antwerp, it is found 
in crystals. At Natural Bridge chalcedony occurs in nodules 
in white limestone. Flint is a common associate of the 
Black river limestone. Agate in small quantities is found 
in Wilna, near Natural Bridge. Jasper and basanite are 
very rarely found as pebbles in the drift formations. 

ScapoUte is rarely found in detached crystals, imbedded 
in white limestone, in Antwerp. Adjacent to, and perhaps 

■« F. B. Hough. 



within, the town of Wilna, near Natural Bridge, the variety 
NuttalUte, in fused crystals of a pearly gruy color, occurs 
with pyroxene and sphene. It is sometimes massive, and 
admits of cleavage. A mineral named terenite by Professor 
Emmons,* and by him attributed to Antwerp, is since con- 
sidered but a variety of scapolite. We are not aware that it 
has been found by any one but himself It was said to be 
associated with oaloite and foliated graphite in a vein of 
white limestone. 

Serpentine is of frequent occurrence in nodules, in white 
limestone, in Antwerp, but it is far less abundant than in 
St. Lawrence county. It is various shades of green, and 
its weathered surface becomes white. It has not hitherto 
been found in this county of suflBoient quantity and quality 
to be of economical value, and it is chiefly interesting from 
the crystalline form which it sometimes assumes. It is said 
to thus occur f two miles southwest of Ox Bow, but we 
have not been able to learn the precise locality. A mineral 
allied to this, and named by Professor Emmons Rensselaer- 
ite,^ but by later authors considered steatitic pseudomorph, 
occurs in great abundance in Antwerp and Theresa, where 
it assumes colors varying from white, through gray, to 
black, and a texture from finely granular to coarsely crys- 
talline and cleavable. It has been made into inkstands and 
other ornaments, and from the ease with which it may be 
wrought, and the facility with which it receives a polish, it 
has been thought that it would prove available as an orna- 
mental marble. An extensive locality of the jet black and 
fine-grained variety occurs on Butterfield lake, and a com- 
pany was a few years since about to be formed for working 
it, but the projector having been accidentally drowned, 
nothing further was done. It is doubtful whether, from 
its softness, this mineral could be turned to a valuable 
account as a marble. It is seldom that there occurs so 
wide a range of color and texture as in this mineral. It 
sometimes is crystallized in forms imitative of scapolite, ser- 
pentine, etc.§ It was denominated by Professor Beck 
steatitic pyroxene, from its hardness being like one, and its 
cleavage and crystallization like the other. 


Specular Iron. — The red oxide of iron constitutes the 
principal ore of this metal in Antwerp, Philadelphia, and 
Theresa, and may be said to be the principal ore of north- 
ern New York. It is invariably associated with a brittle, 
variegated mineral, which has been named cli/syntribite,\\ 
but which recent analyses T[ indicate to be a rock of indefi- 
nite composition, closely related to agalmafolite, and vary- 
ing much in its proportions of alumina, magnesia, lime, and 
the alkalies. In thegeologicalreportof Professor Emmons** 
it is named serpentine. In some form or other this mineral 
is associated with the ore in every locality where the latter 
has been noticed in this county, as if it were a necessary 

s Assembly Doc, 18.37, No. 16], p. 154. 
t Beck's Mineralogy of N. Y., p. 271. 
X Assem. 1837, No. 161, p. 151-. 
■<, Beck's Jlin. N. Y., 277, p. 297. 

[I Report of the Aracriean Association for tbc Advancement of 
Science, vol. iv. p. 311. 

' American Journal of Science, 2d ser., xvi. p. .')0. 
Geology 2J District, p. 37B, c'c. 

associate, and sometimes in such quantities as to dispW'^ 
the ore, to the serious loss of the miners, who have to r " 
move large masses of it. Besides this nondescript mmera 
specular ore is associated with calcite, spathic iron, ohaloo- 
dite, quartz, Blillerite, and, more rarely, heavy spar, in 
richness it varies from ten to fifty per cent, in the large 
way, and it is .seldom found to work well in the furnace, 
requiring a mixture of bog ores or limestone, or of ores or 
different quality, to reduce with the greatest advantage. 
In Theresa this ore was procured during the working of 
the furnace near Redwood in considerable quantity. It has 
been found on an island in Muskelunge lake, with heavy 
spar, and green and blue malachite, but too much mingled 
with iron pyrites to be useful. 

In the edge of Philadelphia, adjoining Theresa, and on 
farms owned by Loren Fuller and Abial ShurtlifF, there 
occurs a body of specular iron ore between the gneiss and 
Potsdam sandstone, which has been used to the extent of 
several hundred tons at Carthage, Antwerp, Redwood, and 
Sterlingville. When wrought alone, it makes an iron 
known to founders as cold short, and fioni its mixture with 
lime is found to be very useful as a flux in assisting in the 
reduction of other ores. It is associated with calcite in 
botryoidal concretions, rarely with crystals of sulphate of 
barytes, and abundantly with the serpentine-looking min- 
eral. These mines have been traced a considerable distance, 
but have been only partially wrought, the first operations 
having commenced about 1838. It is now principally used 
as a flux to the ore of the Sterling mine. 

The mines which have been wrought with most profit in 
northern New York are the Kearney mine, in the extreme 
southwest corner of Gouverneur, and the mines of George 
Parish, adjacent, in Rossie.ff In this same range, about a 
quarter of a mile from the county line, in Antwerp, and but 
a short distance from the line of the Potsdam and Water- 
town railroad, there was discovered, in 1837, a deposit of 
iron ore, which has been wrought by Mr. Parish with much 
profit. It is the only mine of the specular ore in northern 
New York in which the excavations have been continued 
beyond the light of day, rendering lamps necessary. As 
the ore descends obliquely, the overhanging masses of rock 
are supported by huge masses of ore left as pillars at suit- 
able intervals. The mine has been drained by an adit, and 
the thickness of the stratum at right angles to its plane 
varies from six to thirty feet. Several attempts have been 
made to reach the ore by sinking shafts, but hitherto with- 
out success, and it is now raised by being drawn up an in- 
clined plane by a rude horse-power. The ore has proved 
of an excellent quality, and has been exclusively used at 
the Rossie iron-works. Adjacent to, and forming a part 
of this, is the Thompson mine, on the farm of Hiram 
Keene, where ore was observed before it had been detected 
on the adjoining premises. Not being covered by a min- 
eral reserve, this mine became the property of Mr Keene 
who sold his right to other parties, and it subsequentlv be 
came a subject of litigation in the county courts unde • tVi 
belief that it was worthless. 

In 1849 about one thousand tons had been t.>i n 

wKen from 

ft History of St. Lawrence and Franklin 




it. The mine dips at an angle of about forty-five degrees 
below the sandstone. The ore is of a good quality, and has 
been worked both in furnaces and forges. The most exten- 
sive iron mine now worked in the county is called the Ster- 
ling mine, from its owner, James Sterling, in the same range 
and geological relation as the last. It was discovered about 
1836, and mining operations were soon after commenced, 
and have been since continued with but little interruption, 
principally for supplying the furnaces at Sterlingville and 
near Antwerp. Subsequently, it was taken to Louisburg, 
and these three furnaces are now principally supplied by 
this mine. It furnishes a greater variety of minerals of 
scientific interest than any other in this section of the State. 
We have not been able to procure reliable statistics of the 
amount of ore produced by this mine. Half a mile far- 
ther south there was opened by Mr. Parish the White ore led 
on the premises of Mr. Guy White, in August, 1848. It 
has since been wrought for the furnace of Messrs. Skinner 
and Blish, at Wegatchie. No mineral associates of interest 
have been observed here. About a mile from the village 
of Antwerp, and in a relation corresponding with the 
others, there has been opened within the last year* still 
another mine, on the land of Mr. Ward, but it has not been 
sufficiently explored to afford a knowledge of its extent or 
value. There are thus seven or eight mines in a range, in- 
cluding those in Philadelphia, apparently coeval in age and 
produced by a common cause, and it is in the highest de- 
gree probable that there will hereafter be opened other 
mines in this region of equal if not superior interest. 
About two miles from Ox Bow, in Antwerp, and near the 
plank-road to Evans' mills, occurs the Weeks ore bed, be- 
longing to Mr. Parish. It has been principally used at 
Rossie as a flux, and is considered of but little richness by 
itself It has no mineral associates of interest, is of a dull 
red color and slaty texture, resembling the ore of Phila- 

Sphene (scilecio-calcareous oxide of titanium) is found 
in white limestone with pargasite, in Antwerp, near Ox 
Bow. It also occurs in large, finely-formed crystals, near 
Natural Bridge. In Diana, near the county line, occurs 
one of the finest localities of this mineral known. It has 
been defined as Ledererite, but is considered but a variety 
of this mineral. 

Spinel, of a pale red color, and crystals sometimes half 
an inch in diameter, has been observed at Vrooman lake, 
near Ox Bow, and four miles from that place towards The- 
resa. It is accompanied with chondrodite in small quanti- 
ties. This mineral resembles, in many respects, the ruby 
and sapphire. 

Talc is sometimes noticed in bowlders in small quantities. 

Tourmaline is occasionally found in gneiss in Antwerp 
and Theresa, and is found occasionally in bowlders ; but the 
finest locality in northern New York exists on Bald island, 
about three miles from Alexandria bay, where it exists in 
huge striated prisms, in such quantities as to convey the 
belief that it would lead to coal, and induced the com- 
mencement of mining operations under circumstances that 

* Written about 1863. 

f For additional information of these mines see liistory of town. 

the slightest acquaintance with geology would have dis- 

Wad (earthy manganese) has been noticed in swamps, in 
Watertown and elsewhere. 

Wollastonite (tabular spar) occurs with augite and coc- 
colite. at Natural Bridge. Delicate fibrous varieties have 
been found in bowlders in Wilna. 


The only observations made in this county were by the 
academy in Belleville, in pursuance of the requisition of 
the regents of the university, during the nine years between 
1830 and 1844. They gave the following results : Mean 
temperature, first half, 44.74 ; mean temperature, second 
half, 46.64; highest degree observed (July 10, 1834, and 
August 5, 1839), 98° ; lowest degree observed (December 
16, 1835), 35° ; extreme range in nine years, 133° ; mean 
monthly range, 74.40 ; greatest monthly range, in March ; 
least monthly range, in July ; dryest month, March ; wet- 
test month, September. Total fall of rain and snowj in 
nine years, 22 feet 11.99 inches. Mean direction of winds, 
S. 59°05 W. ; per cent, of this direction, 26 ; days, mean 
direction, 7.98. 

This station is situated in the valley of North Sandy 
creek ; the surrounding country is undulating, with no 
high hills, and is but little sheltered from the winds of the 
lake, which probably influence its temperature and other 
features of its climate. 


of September 20, 1845, which swept through the great 
forest of St. Lawrence, Franklin, and Clinton counties, 
originated in the town of Antwerp, but did not begin to do 
much execution till it entered the town of rowler.§ On 
the 9th of September previous, a tornado of less extent, 
having a parallel course, passed over Lewis county. The 
great tornado was attended by an earthquake on the north 
shore of Lake Ontario. 



The Mound-Builders — Aborigines — Indian Eelios — Mounds and Re- 
mains^ — Aboriginal Names. 

In common with various portions of the United States 
territory, Jefferson County contains many evidences of its 
occupation by an ancient race, but where it originated or 
whence it came, and in what manner it finally disappeared, 
are questions apparently unsolvable by the present genera- 
tion. That this people spread over a large portion of the 
country east of the Mississippi river is certain, for their 
remains are found in various forms from Lake Superior to 
Arkansas, and from New England to Missouri. That they 
were a homogeneous and permanently located people is 
quite probable, as their extensive system of mounds and 

J Reduced to water. 

^ See History of St. Lawrence and Franklin counties, p. 698. — 
Hough, 1853. 



earthworks indicate. The central and most densely popu- 
lated region occupied by them appears to have been the 
upper valley of the IMississippi from Memphis to the north 
line- of Illinois, and the valley of the Ohio throughout its 
whole extent. 

Their largest work seems to have been the immense 
mound at Cahokia, near St. Louis, in the State of Illinois, 
said to be seven hundred by five hundred feet in dimensions, 
and having, when first seen by Europeans, a height of ninety 
feet ; and their most extensive system of fortifications at 
Marietta, Ohio, where they cover a tract from two to three 
miles in length by a half-mile in breadth. 

When the country was first settled by Europeans, the 
Mingwe and Lenape, or Iroquois and Delaware, Indians 
had traditions of an ancient race which their forefathers 
conquered and drove out of all the country lying east of the 
Mississippi (which they called Nama Sepee, or river of 
sturgeon) " many moons ago." 

It is conjectured by some writers that this race was iden- 
tical with the Aztec and Toltec races of Mexico and Cen- 
tral America, and that the Pimos and other peculiar natives 
of New Mexico and Arizona are the degenerate fragments of 
this once powerful and numerous people. 

The following remarks, with descriptions of all the promi- 
nent works known to exist in the county, together with 
accounts of various discoveries of skeletons, improvements, 
etc., etc., are from Dr. Hough's History, and are believed 
to be very full and accurate : 

" A passing tribute to the memory of a race who have 
left but few traces of their sojourn in the territory now em- 
braced in Jefferson County, may not be deemed inappro- 
priate before entering into the details that make up our 
authentic history. There are probably few who have not 
dwelt with peculiar interest upon the glimpses we catch 
through the mists of the past of whole tribes of men that 
have vanished from the earth, leaving no heirs or represen- 
tatives to inherit the richer blessings of our age ; of nations 
whose part in the great drama of human life must always 
be the theme of conjecture ; whose sages are forgotten, and 
whose warriors sleep unhonored in the dim obscurity of 
oblivion. Few are the monuments we may interrogate, and 
doubtful the interpretation of the enigmas which the scat- 
tered traces of their existence offer, nor can these furnish 
the basis of a well-founded conjecture of the people, or the 
period, or in some instances the object, with which they 
were related. At most, we can but offer a few facts, and 
leave the field of conjecture open to those who may have 
more ample means of comparison, and the leisure and talent 
to devote to this deeply-interesting field of inquiry. The 
general inference which has been reached by those whose 
researches have been especially devoted to this study, is 
that none of the remains of art in this section of the State 
can pretend to the antiquity that belongs to the mound- 
builders of the Ohio valley ; that they indicate at most but 
a slight attainment in civilization ; that they denote no 
further object than self-defense, or simple sustenance ; and 
that they evince no general plans, no organized system, 
beyond what the necessities of the moment suggested. 
Further than this we know nothing. The inclosures here- 
after described exhibit that similarity that leads us to 

believe them the work of the same race, for a comoaoi^ 
object,— protection against a contemporary foe ; thus show- 
ing that wars are, if not inherent in human nature, at leas 
coeval with the first dawnings of civilization. 

" In the town of Le Ray, a short distance below the 
village of Black River, and on the road to Watertown, was 
formerly the trace of a trench inclosure. The work was 
irreo-ularly semicircular, inclosing about one and a quarter 
acres of ground, and a short distance from the bank of 
Black river, the side towards which was open, the ends of 
the embankment extending a short distance down the slope, 
and curving inward ' as if to prevent the flank from being 
turned by an enemy.'* A portion of the bank and ditch 
outside may still be traced in the road, but the greater part 
has long been leveled by cultivation. In the fields adjacent 
are the traces of hearths, numerous fragments of rude pot- 
tery, bones of animals, and stone chisels.f Human bones 
have also been found in the vicinity. Although the banks 
have been mostly leveled, yet their locality may be traced 
without much difficulty. 

" About a mile north of this is another and larger one, 
which, like the first, contains in and around it the usual 
Indian relies. It occupies a plain but little elevated above 
a flat that was once flowed by a beaver dam, making a shal- 
low pond several acres in extent. The remains of the dam 
may still be traced on West creek, which has its source 
not far distant. 

" Two trench inclosures formerly existed near Sanford's 
Corners, in Le Ray, but no trace of the original works re- 
mains. When first seen, the bank, measured from the 
bottom of the ditch, was six feet high. An unusual amount 
of relics have been afforded by the adjacent fields, and 
several human skeletons, all buried in the sitting posture, 
have been exhumed. Like most others, they were built 
near the banks of a stream of water, and had at irregular 
intervals gateways or passages. The ground within and 
around was formerly a pine forest, which extended many 
miles in the direction of Carthage. 

" On both sides of Perch lake and on Linnel's island in 
an adjacent swamp, there were, when the country was first 
explored, a great number of mounds or barrows, supposed 
by some to be burial-places. They present much uniformity 
in appearance, being circular, from two to four rods across, 
from two to four feet high, and uniformly having a depres- 
sion in the centre, as if a vault had formerly existed there, 
which has since fallen in. When dug into, they are said 
to contain burnt stone, charred corn, broken pottery, etc. ; 
but no opportunity was afforded to the author to examine 
their structure. Most of them have been plowed down, 
but a few are said to remain on the west side of the Perch 
lake in their primitive state. In Hounsficld, on the shore 
of Black River bay, between Muskelunge creek and Storrs' 
harbor, is said to have existed formerly a trench inclosure 
of the ordinary form. We have not learned whether it is 
wholly or in part preserved, nor is its extent known. Some 
of the largest trees of the forest grew upon and within the 

» Aboriginal Monuments of New York, by E. G. Squier. Smith- 
sonian Contributions, vol. li. art. vi. p. 23, pi. 3. 

t Soo Third Annual Eoport of Regents of the University on tl 
Condition of the State Cabinet, p. 101. 



bank. In Watertown, on lot No. 29, about two and a half 
miles southwest from the village, may still be seen in an 
open wood, and in a fine state of preservation, the outline 
of a work consisting of a bank thrown up from a surround- 
ing ditch, and evidently intended as a defensive work. It 
is on the summit of a gradually sloping terrace of Trenton 
limestone, and commands a delightful prospect. Elms three 
feet in diameter are found growing upon the bank, and the 
decaying remains of others still larger, within and upon it, 
carry back the date of its construction to an ante-Columbian 
period. In the same range and lot, on premises owned by 
Anson Hungerford, Esq., and about forty rods east, there 
was formerly another inclosure, with gateways, the position 
and extent of which cannot now be ascertained, as the bank 
has long since been leveled by cultivation. The one first 
mentioned is semicircular, the open side facing upon the 

" Half a mile east of Bun-ville, on lot No. 31, was formerly 
a defensive work, consisting of a mound and ditch, running 
across a point between two streams near their junction, and 
forming, by the aid of the natural banks, a triangular in- 
closure. The plow has long ago filled the ditch and leveled 
the bank, leaving no trace of the work. The soil has 
afforded a great abundance and variety of relics, and the 
vicinity indicates that it had been occupied as an Indian 
village. Within the inclosure is a bowlder of gneiss, worn 
smooth and concave in places by the grinding of stone im- 
plements. On a point of land opposite the author found 
an iron ball weighing eight ounces,"j" and others have been 
picked up in the vicinity, indicating that the place must 
have been passed, at least, by those who knew the use of 
small ordnance ; probably the French, on some of their ex- 
peditions against the Iroquois.'^ Mr. Squier, in his work on 
the ancient monuments of New York, mentions the trace 
of an Indian village a mile northeast of this. 

" Near Appling post-office, on the land of D. Talcott, in 
Adams, near the line of Watertown, is still to be seen the 
trace of a work of great extent and interest. It is on the 
brow of the upper terrace of Trenton limestone, overlook- 
ing a vast extent of country to the west and north. The 
bank has an average height of three and base of ten feet, 
with an external ditch of corresponding dimensions, and 
there were about seven gateways or interruptions in the work, 
which had an elliptical form, one side bordering upon a 
beaver pond, and bounded by an abrupt bank, about thirty 
feet high. Upon and within the work, trees of an enor- 
mous size are growing, and the decaying fragments of others 
carry back the origin of the work several hundred years. 
A great number of small pits, or caches, occur where pro- 
visions were stored for concealment ; as shown by quantities 
of parched corn. Several skeletons have been exhumed 
here, which had been buried in a sitting posture, and its 
relics are the same as those above mentioned. 

" Near the northwest corner of Rodman, on lot No. 2, 
on the farm of Jared Freeman, was formerly an interesting 

•» Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge, vol. ii. art. vi. p. 20, 
fig. 2, pi. 2. See also N. Y. Senate Document No. 30, 1851, p. 106, 
plate 7. 

f Probably grape-shot. 

X Senate Document, 1851, No. 30, p. 105, where a plan Is given. 

work, of which no trace remains§ except a bowlder of gneiss, 
worn smooth by grinding. Before the place had been cul- 
tivated, it is said to have shown an oval, double bank, with 
an intervening crescent-shaped space, and a short bank run- 
ning down a gentle slope to a small stream, one of the 
sources of Stony Creek, that flows near. Several hundred 
bushels of burnt corn were turned out over an area one rod 
by eight, showing that this must have been an immense 
magazine of food. On the farm of Jacob Heath, on lot 
No. 25, near the west line of Rodman, and on the north 
bank of North Sandy creek, a short distance above the con- 
fluence of the two main branches of that stream, there 
formerly existed an inclosure of the same class. It included 
about three acres, was overgrown with heavy timber, and 
furnished within and without, when plowed, a great quantity 
and variety of terra-cotta, in fragments, but no metallic 
relics. Under the roots of a large maple was dug up the 
bones of a man of great stature, and furnished with entire 
rows of double teeth. 

" On the farm of Wells Benton, half a mile from Adams 
village, was an inclosure similar to the others, and affording 
the usual variety of relics ; and another trace of an ancient 
work of a similar character is mentioned in Adams, two 
miles north of the village. 

" On the farm of Peter Durfey, near Bellville, in Ellis- 
burg, is still another, which, from the description given by 
those who have examined it, does not differ in age or general 
appearance from others, having gateways at irregular inter- 
vals, and being guarded on one side by a natural defense. 

" The present cemetery, a little above Ellis village, pre- 
sents the trace of a work that was crescent-shaped, and, by 
the aid of the natural bank on which it was built, formed 
an irregular inclosure of about two acres. On the south 
bank of South Sandy creek, three miles from its mouth, 
was a similar work, defended on one side by an abrupt 
bank, and now entirely leveled by tillage. A considerable 
number of places occur in Ellisburg, which must have been 
inhabited by the aborigines. The fertility of the soil, ex- 
cellence of water, and vicinity to valuable salmon fisheries 
and extensive hunting-grounds, must have afforded many 
attractions to the savages. Probably several traces of an- 
cient works in this section of the country may have been 
leveled by tillage, without exciting suspicion of their nature. 
Besides these, one is mentioned as having occurred near 
Tylerville, and another in Hounsfield, two miles from 

" One of the most conclusive evidences of ancient military 
occupation and conflict occurs in Rutland, near the resi- 
dence of Abner Tamblin, one mile from the western line of 
the town, and two miles from the river. It is on the sum- 
mit of the Trenton limestone terrace, which forms a bold 
escarpment, extending down the river and passing across the 
southern part of Watertown. There here occurs a slight 
embankment and ditch irregularly oval, with several gate- 
ways ; and along the ditch, in several places, have been 
found great numbers of skeletons, almost entirely of males, 
and lying in great confusion, as if they had been slain 
in defending it. Among these bones were those of a man 

I Senate Dooumgnt, 1851, No, 30, p. 105, where a plan is given. 



of colossal size, and, like nine-tenths of the others, furnished 
with a row of double teeth in each jaw. This singular pe- 
culiarity, with that of broad, flat jaws, retreating forehead, 
and great prominence of the occiput, which was common to 
most of these skulls, may hereafter afford some clue to their 
history. There is said to have been found at this place, by 
excavating, hearths or fire-places, with bones of animals, 
broken pottery, and implements of stone, at two different 
levels, separated by an accumulation of earth and vegetable 
mould from one to two feet thick, as if the place had been 
twice occupied. So great has been the length of time since 
these bones have been covered, that they fall to pieces very 
soon after being exposed to the air. Charred corn, bones, 
and relics occur at both levels, but more abundantly at the 
lower. At numerous places not exhibiting traces of forti- 
fications are found fire-places, accumulations of chips, of flint, 
and broken pottery, as if these points had been occupied as 
dwellings. In several places hone-pits have been found, 
where human remains in gi-eat numbers have been accumu- 
lated. One is mentioned as occurring near Brownville vil- 
lage,* where, in a space of ten or twelve feet square and four 
deep, a great number of skeletons were thrown. Another 
deposit of bones occurs in Ellisburg, nearly opposite an 
ancient work on South Sandy creek, near a house now 
occupied by J. W. Ellis, where, in digging a cellar in 1818, 
bones in great numbers were found. In 1812 there was 
found in Rutland, three miles from Watertown, under a 
pile of stones about three feet high, which rested on a cir- 
cular, flat stone, a pit four feet square and two deep, filled 
with the bones of men and animals, thrown together in great 
confusion.f These exhibit marks of teeth, as if they had 
been gnawed by animals. This, with the charcoal and 
charred corn in the vicinity, has been thought to indicate 
ancient massacre and pillage, in which an Indian village 
was destroyed and the bones of the slain afterwards collected 
and buried by friends. It was estimated that thirty or forty 
skeletons were buried here, besides parts of animals that 
may have been killed for food. A custom is said to have 
prevailed among some Indian tribes of collecting and bury- 
ing at stated intervals the bones of their dead, and some of 
these depositories may have thus originated. The pottery 
found around these localities was of the coarsest and rudest 
character, externally smooth, except where marked by lines 
and dots in fantastic and ever-varying combinations of fig- 
ures, and internally rough from the admixture of coarse sand 
and gravel. There was no glazing known to these primitive 
potters, who possessed, nevertheless, a certain degree of taste 
and skill, and sometimes attempted, on their pipes and jars, 
an imitation of the human face and fantastic images of ser- 
pents and wild animals. 

" Rarely, metallic relics of undoubted antiquity are found. 
A chisel of copper before us is of this class ; and the metal 
from which this, and other relics of this kind were made, 
was doubtless procured from Lake Superior. A fragment 
of a sword-blade, around which the wood of a tree had 
grown, was found by the first settlers of Ellisburg. Mus- 
kets, balls, hatchets, knives, and other implements of metal, 

■■^' Smithsonian Contributions, ii., part vi. p. 25. 

t Third Report of Regents on Cabinet, 1850, p. 102. 

have been at various times turned out by the plow , 
none of the articles of undoubted European origin can c ai 
an antiquity prior to the French and Indian wars.J 

" There was found several years since, in the sand, a 
deep cutting of the railroad, near the poor-house, an oval 
ball, about three inches long, which for some time was used 
by children as a plaything. From its lightness and hard- 
ness, it excited curiosity, and it was cut open, when it was 
found to contain a strip of parchment and another ball; 
this latter also contained another ball and strip of parch- 
ment, in all three. One of these is preserved, and is three- 
fourtlis by eleven and three-eighths inches, containing, 
written on one side, four lines of Hebrew characters, with- 
out vowel points, quoted from Deuteronomy xi. 13 to 21 
inclusive. The case containing these was apparently made 
of hide, and it had been doubtless used as an amulet by 
some traveling Jew, or had been procured by the Indians 
as a charm, at a period not prior to the French era of our 
history. This section of the State, at the earliest period of 
authentic history, was occupied by the Oneidas and Ouorv- 
dagas, as a hunting-ground ; and one or two trails were 
perceptible when surveyed in 1796. Occasionally the St. 
Regis Indians would find their way into our territory, but 
oftener the Massasaugas from the north shore of the lake. 
The Oneidas considered them as intruders, and the latter 
seldom allowed themselves to fall in their way, from which 
reason the visits of the natives were stealthy and unfre- 
quent, and nothing would fill the foreign Indians with ap- 
prehensions sooner than being told that the Oneidas were 
in the neighborhood. After the war nothing was seen or 
heard from them. Of our aboriginal names of places in 
our country but few are preserved. Mr. L. H. Morgan has 
given on a map, accompanying his work entitled ' The 
League of the Iroquois,' the following, as they are known 
in the Seneca dialect : 

" Lake Ontario, Neagha. Tecarneodi. 

" Sandy creek, Tekadaogahe. 

" Black river, Kahuahgo. 

" Sacket's harbor, Gahuagojetwaraalote. 

" Wolf island, Denwokedacanaiida. 

" St. Lawrence, Ganowogeh. Gahunda. 

" Indian river, OJeqnack. 

" On an ancient French map in Yale College library, 
Carlton island is designated Cahihououage ; a town at the 
mouth of Black river, Otihanagne. The St. Regis Indians 
name Black river Nikahionhakoum, or Big river. In Mr. 
Squier's work on the ' Antiquities of the State,' it is 
called Kamargo ; French creek is by the <SV. Regis called 
Atenharakioehtare, the place where the fence or wall fell 
down. The Ox Bow of Oswcgatchie river they name 
Onontohen, a hill with the same river on both sides." 

X It is possible that they date back to the year 1615, when Cham- 
plain led an array, coinposcd of a few French soliliors and a great 
number of Hitron-Ali/unquin Indians, on an expedition against the 





North America, — Early Discoveries — French Ooeupation — Samuel De 
Cbamplaiu — Wars with the Iroquois — Troubles with the English 
Colonists — Count Frontenao and other Governors of Canada — 
Fortifications — Carlton Island. 

The first European, so far as known, who visited the 
region now included in Jeflferson County, was Samuel De 
Champlain, justly called the " Father of New France." 
The visit occurred in the autumn of 1615, when Cham- 
plain, at the head of an army composed of a few French 
and a great number of Algonquin-Hiirons, crossed the 
lower end of Lake Ontario in a fleet of canoes, and landed 
probably in what is known as " Hungry bay,'' south of the 
mouth of Black river. Hiding their canoes, the savage 
swarm proceeded by land around the southeastern ex- 
tremity of the lake, crossing the Onondaga river, and, after 
a march of several days, reached the Seneca towns lying 
towards the Genesee river. The expedition returned by 
the same route, and thus twice visited Jefferson Count}' 
within a few weeks. 

As the earliest posts and settlements of the French were 
commenced on the lower St. Lawrence, and thence grad- 
ually spread inland and up the valley of the great river, a 
condensed account of the early voyages and explorations is 
deemed appropriate in this connection, as necessary to a 
correct understanding of the causes which eventually led 
Champlain into this region. 

Although the French were not permanent occupants of 
what is now northern New York, yet they mude the ear- 
liest visits (1609, 1615) to the country, and gave the world 
its first knowledge concerning the regions adjacent to Lakes 
Champlain and Ontario. 

But for the bigotry of the times, which, in Champlain's 
day, forbade the Huguenots settling in New France, the 
subsequent history of the present United States of America 
might have been radically different; and, instead of English 
occupation, the whole vast region, from the inhospitable 
wilds of the north to the Mexican gulf, might very proba- 
bly have been at this day inhabited by descendants of the 
hardy Protestants of France. 

Certain French writers claim that as early as 1488 one 
Cousin, a navigator of the city of Dieppe, on the English 
Channel, visited the shores of the American continent, 
being forced by adverse winds and currents from the 
African coast. He is also said to have discovered a great 
river. If this statement is true, it was most probably the 
coast of South America that he visited. 

On board his ship was one Pinzon, who became mutinous, 
and upon complaint being entered by his commander on 
the return of the ship to Dieppe, he was dismissed from 
the service. 

It is said that he went to Spain, where he met the great 
discoverer, Columbus, to whom he related the particulars 
of Cousin's voyage, and, four years later, accompanied him 
on his first voyage to America, which at length furnished 
tangible evidence of the existence of a great continent in 
the Western ocean, and made his name renowned throughout 
the world.* 

■••■■ See Pioneers of France in the New World, by Parkman. 

The Normans, Bretons, and Basques, those hardy sailors 
of the north and west of France and Spain, were early 
visitors to the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. It is even 
claimed that they wore pursuing the cod-fishery previous to 

There is strong evidence that this fishery began as early 
as 1504, and the fact is well established that in 1517 fifty 
Castilian, French, and Portuguese vessels' were employed in 
the business. 

" In 1506 one Denis, of Honfleur, explored the Gulf of 
St. Lawrence, and, two years later, Aubert, of Dieppe, fol- 
lowed in his track ; and in 1518 the Baron de Lery made 
an abortive attempt at settlement on Sable Island, where 
the cattle left by him remained and multiplied.''^ 

John Verrazzano, a Florentine, visited the coast of 
America in 1524. He sailed along the shores, from where 
Wilmington, North Carolina, now stands, as far as New- 
foundland, from whence he returned to France. His ac- 
count of the voyage was the first reliable information the 
European nations obtained of the coast of the present 
United States. 

The voyages of Columbus, Ponce de Leon, Cabot, and 
Verrazzano created an intense interest among the nations of 
Europe, and explorations now followed in rapid succession. 
The Spaniards monopolized the southern portions of the 
continent as far north as northern Florida; the English 
occupied the region lying between the Bay of Fundy and 
the Spanish possessions ; while the French, perforce, were 
obliged to content themselves with Nova Scotia, which they 
named Acadia, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, with its islands 
and adjacent countries, and the far-reaching valley of the 
river St. Lawrence. The next important voyage, following 
Verrazzano, was made by Jacques Cartier, a prominent cit- 
izen of St. Malo, in France, which port he left on the 20th 
of April, 1534, bound on a voyage of discovery to the 
Western ocean . 

He visited the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Bay of 
Chaleurs, the island of Newfoundland, and sailed up the 
river as far as the island of Anticosti ; but the threaten- 
ing storms of autumn drove him from the inhospitable 
shores, and he returned to France, having made only a 

■ His discoveries were deemed of such importance that he 
was commissioned anew, and on the 19th of May, 1535, 
asain set sail with three small vessels for the New World. 
Encountering a furious tempest, which it happily weathered, 
the scattered fleet assembled at the Straits of Belle Isle. 
Cartier named the broad-spreading waters the Bay of St. 
Lawrence, which name subsequently attached to the river 

Following up the majestic stream, he cast anchor in the 
channel between the island of Orleans and the northern 
shore, being probably the first European vessels and people 
which the natives of that region had ever seen. The river 
was known to the Indians by the name of Hochelaga. On 
the spot where Quebec now stands a cluster of wigwams 
comprised the Indian town of Sta-da-co-na, in which re- 
sided an important chief, or king, called Don-na-co-na, who 

f Parkman. 



treated the adventurers with a courtesy fai- beyond their 
deserts, for the crafty Cartier, when afterwards miiking 
preparations to return to Europe, enticed the unsuspecting 
potentate, and a number of his chiefs and warriors, on 
board his vessel, when they were secured and talien to 

Cartier explored the river as far as HocMaga, an Indian 
town which stood on the site of the present commercial 
city of Montreal (Mount Royal), where he arrived October 
2, 1535, seventy-six years before Champlain began the 
foundations of the present city. 

The Indian capital was fortified by a triple row of pali- 
sades, or heavy stockades, formed of the trunks of trees, 
and strongly braced together. 

A similar system of fortifications seems to have been in 
use among all the Algonquin nations. 

The place was surrounded by extensive fields of maize, 
ripening in the autumn sun, and the city was populous 
with tawny inhabitants. The high mountain overlooking 
Montreal Cartier visited, accompanied by troops of natives, 
and, enchanted by the magnificent prospect fiom its breezy 
summit, he named it " Mount Royal," from which the 
present name is derived. 

Returning down the river, Cartier hauled his ships up 
the little river St. Charles, in front of a small palisaded 
work which those who had remained behind had con- 
structed, and here the whole force passed the winter, suf- 
fering untold hardships from cold and the scurvy, which 
carried off twenty-six of their number before spring. This 
terrible disease was said to have been cured by a decoction 
of spruce-bark ; a remedy given them by the Indians. 
With the return of spring, Cartier resolved to abandon his 
settlement and return to France. With his captive chiefs 
he set sail, and on July 16, 1536, once more cast anchor 
under the guns of St. Blalo. 

The wars in which France was then involved swallowed 
up all minor considerations, and there was little encourage- 
ment at court for those who were interested in the New 

But a champion eventually came forward in the person 
of Jean Francois de la Roque. Sieur de Roberval, a nobleman 
of Picardy, who had succeeded in interesting the king suffi- 
ciently to procure his assistance in fitting put a squadron of 
five vessels. I'pon Roberval the king conferred the high- 
sounding but empty titles of " Lord of Norembega, Viceroy 
and Lieutenant-General in Canada, Hochelaga, Saguenay, 
Newfoundland, Belle Isle, Corpunt, Labrador, the Great 
Bay, and Baccaloos,"* and furnished him a handsome sum 
of money from the royal treasury, with which the five 
vessels were procured and equipped. 

Of this expedition Jacques Cartier was made captain- 
general. Its objects, as set forth in his commission, were 
" discovery, settlement, and the conversion of the Indians." 
Volunteers for the purpose of colonizing New France, as 
the country had been named by Cartier, not coming forward 
in sufficient numbers, he was authorized to select from the 
public prisons a sufficient number of criminals to man his 
vessels and strengthen his colony. The anticipated profits 

'^'' This word is said to be the Basque name for cod. 

of the adventure were to be divided into three equ*' r' 
of which the king was to receive one-third, the adven 
another third, and the balance was to be reserved o 
necessary expenses. 

D(jn-iia-co-7ia and his chiefs were claimed to have Deen 
converted to the " true faith" and baptized, but most of 
them had died within a year or two thereafter. 

On May 23, 1541, Cartier once more set sail from St. 
Malo, leaving Roberval to follow with additional supplies 
and emigrants as soon as they could be collected. 

In due time he arrived in the St. Lawrence, where the 
savages met him and eagerly inquired for their chief and 
warHors. ^ Cartier dissembled, and replied that Don-na-co-na 
was dead, but that the rest had married and were living like 


The Indians pretended to be satisfied, but from that day 
they looked with distrust upon the French. 

Three and a half leagues above the site of Quebec, Cartier 
erected two forts, one on the high promontory called Cap 
Rouge (Red Cap), and the other at its base near the river. 
This double fortification he named, in honor of the king, 
Charlesbourg Royal, and placed the Vicomte de Beaupre 
in command, while he with two boats proceeded up the 
river to explore the rapids above Hoclielaga. Late in the 
autumn he returned, and found the garrison of Charlesbourg, 
with the gloom of a Canadian winter staring them in the 
face, in anything but a happy mood. 

Roberval, eo long expected, had not arrived, and for the 
second time Cartier was obliged to content himself as best 
he might with a sojourn during another period of frost and 

That his winter experience was anything but satisfactory, 
is evinced by the fact that as early in the spring as the ice 
would permit he broke up the settlement, embarked, and 
steered down the St. Lawrence. 

In the mean time Roberval had met with vexatious delays, 
and it was not until April 16, 1542, that he set sail, with 
three ships and two hundred colonists, for New France. 
On the 8th of June he entered the harbor of St. John, 
Newfoundland, where he found seventeen fishing vessels 
lying at anchor. 

Soon after the returning squadron of Cartier ran into the 
harbor, and when Roberval learned that the settlement on 
the St. Lawrence had been abandoned he was extremelyindig- 
nant, and ordered Cartier to return. But the latter, disgusted 
with the experience of two winters in the bleak country, 
was in no mood to return to the scene of his sufferings, and 
weighing anchor in the night, he put to sea, and returned 
to France. This voyage ended the active life of Cartier, 
whose remaining days were patised quietly at his seigniorial 
mansion of Limoilou.f 

The viceroy, Roberval, nothing daunted by this desertion, 

pushed on through the straits of Belle Ijlg (.^ |.jjg jg|g pf 

Demons, or " Les Isle de la Demoiselle," ]yi„„ ^^Q^iYi of 

Newfoundland, with which a curious legend of love fidelity 

and suffering is connected, as related by Thevet, a French 

writer, who was an intimate friend of E,,V,o,.„ i , ,- 

' ^^^oDerval and Car- 


"I" This strueture is said to be still stand" 




Marguerite, the heroine of the tale, was the niece of 
Roberval. * 

Sailing up the river, Roberval came to anchor under the 
heights of Cap Rouge. Here he erected new fortifications, 
mills, workshops, and dwellings, for a permanent colony. 
The little colony passed the ensuing winter in their dreary 

Famine and sickness decimated them, and a mutiny broke 
out among them, but it was quickly extinguished by the 
iron hand of Roberval, who hanged and shot several of the 
malcontents, and banished others. The rule of the viceroy 
was so severe that it is said even the Indians shed tears at 
his cruelty. 

There is no definite account of the fate of this colony, 
but it was certainly broken up not long afterwards. 

For many years subsequently, no attempt was made to 
plant permanent colonies on the St. Lawrence. The cod 
fishery was, however, continued with unabated vigor by the 
hardy sailors of the French provinces. It is said that in 
1578 there were as many as three hundred and fifty fishing 
vessels at Newfoundland, one hundred and fifty of them 
being French. 

"In 1607 there was an old French fisherman at Can- 
seau, who had voyaged to these seas for forty-two consecu- 
tive years.""!" 

The next attempt to colonize New France was made by 
the Marquis de la Roche, a Catholic nobleman of Brittany, 
who was granted a monopoly of the Canadian fur trade, and 
a profusion of high-sounding but empty titles. 

Gathering a throng of thieves and desperadoes from the 
public prisons, he embarked in a small vessel, and sailed for 
America. Landing forty convicts upon Sable Island, off 
the coast of Nova Scotia, he sailed on an exploring voyage 
among the neighboring coasts and islands, but was driven out 
to sea by a furious storm, and finally returned to France, 
leaving the convicts to their fate. 

Building huts from the fragments of an old wreck, they 
hunted the wild cattle, descended from those left by De 
Lery, eighty years before, made themselves garments from 
seal skins, and waited for the return of La Roche. Year 
after year passed, and still no succor. They quarreled and 
fought among themselves, and strife and disease, in the 
course of a few years, reduced their numbers to twelve half- 
starved wretches, who were finally rescued, and returned to 
their native land. 

Succeeding La Roche came one Pontgrav^, a merchant 
of St. Malo, who associated himself with a Captain Chauvin, 
of the marines, who had influence and acquaintance at 
court. At Tadoussac, at the mouth of the Saguenay, they 
established a trading station, under the tremendous preci- 
pices which overhang that most remarkable river. This 
colony also proved a failure, for, in the spritig, after passing 
the first winter, several of the sixteen men left at the place 
were dead, and the remainder scattered among the neigh- 
boring Indians, subsisting upon charity. 


In the closing years of the sixteenth century a new era 

'■^= See Parkman's Pioneers of France in tlie New World, p. 203. 
f Pai'kman. 

dawned upon Prance. Henry the Fourth, " the bear-hunt- 
ing prince of the Pyrenees," had become monarch of 
Prance. Under his vigorous rule France, which had long 
been the prey of blood-thirsty factions, was consolidated, 
foreign enemies were driven from her soil, and art, industry, 
and commerce sprang to renewed life. 

About 1598, a character, which afterwards, for nearly 
thirty years, stood in the van of the pioneers and rulers of 
the New World, came upon the scene, Samuel de Champ- 
lain, of Saintonge, or St. Ange. " Champlain was born in 
1567, at the small seaport of Brouage, on the Bay of Bis- 
cay. He had risen to the rank of captain in the royal 
navy, but during the recent wars had served in the land 
forces in Brittany, where he fought for the king, under the 
banners of D'Aumont de St. Lac and Brissac. His purse 
was small, his merit great, and Henry the Fourth, out of 
his own slender resources, had given him a pension to 
maintain him near his person. But rest was penance to 
him. The war in Brittany was over. The rebellious Duke 
de Mercosur was reduced to obedience, and the royal army 
disbanded. Champlain, his occupation gone, conceived a 
design conisonant with his adventurous nature. He would 
visit the West Indies, and bring back to the king a report 
of those regions of mystery whence Spanish jealousy ex- 
cluded foreigners, and where every intruding Frenchman 
was threatened with death." 

His West Indian adventure occupied him two years and 
a half, during which he visited the principal ports of the 
islands, made plans and sketches of them, and then, landing 
at Vera Cruz, made a visit to the city of Mexico. From 
thence he went on a visit to Panama, where he conceived 
a plan for a ship-canal across the isthmus, by which, he 
says, " the voyage to the South Sea would be shortened 
more than fifl;een hundred leagues.'' 

He kept a curious journal of his travels, which he illus- 
trated, after the manner of the times, with his own hand. 
This manuscript is preserved at Dieppe. 

From 1603 to 1608, Champlain was busily engaged with 
De Chastes, Pontgrave, De Monts, Poutrincourt, D'Orville, 
Beaumont, Sourin, La Motto, Boulay, and Fougeray in 
planting transient colonies in Nova Scotia (called by the 
French Aoadie), New Brunswick, and contiguous regions, 
known to the French under the name Norembega ; and in 
exploring the bays, inlets, and islands of the coast, from 
the mouth of the St. Lawrence to Long Island. 

De Mont,<! had obtained a fresh monopoly of the fur 
trade in the St. Lawrence, and in the spring of 1608 fitted 
out two ships, of which he gave the command, — one to 
Pontgrav6 and the other to Champlain. The former was 
to trade with the natives, while the latter had the harder 
task assigned him of planting a permanent settlement and 
exploring the country. Pontgrav^, with a cargo of goods 
destined for Tadoussac, sailed from Honfleur, April 5, 1608, 
and Champlain, with men, arms, and stores for a colony, 
followed on the 13th. 

Pontgrav^ reached the river before Champlain, and, turn- 
ing the rocky point at the mouth of the Saguenay, then 
called by the French " Pointe de Tons le Diahles" from 
the fury of its winds and currents, found a Basque fur- 
trader anchored in the stream. In response to Pontgrav6's 



summons, demanding a cessation of the traffic in his ex- 
clusive domain, the angry fur-traders, not having the fear 
of King Henry before their eyes, fired on him with heavy 
guns and musketry, wounded him and two of his men, and 
killed a third; and then boarded his vessel and carried 
away his arms and ammunition, promising to return them 
when they were done trading. 

On the 3d of June, Champlain arrived, and found matters 
as above described. Fearful now of the vengeance of the 
French commander, the Basques made haste to restore 
everything and make the best terms they could. A peace 
was signed on board their vessel, and, abandoning their 
traffic and furs together, the belligerent strangers betook 
themselves to catching whales. 

Peace being restored, Champlain held on his way up the 
river, and, selecting the present site of the city of Quebec,* 
began the first permanent settlement in what is now British 
America. It probably occupied the site of the present 
market-place of the lower town. 

Not long after the commencement of the settlement, a 
plot was laid by a few of Champlain's men to assassinate 
him and deliver Quebec into the hands of the Basques ; 
but it was revealed by one who had overheard it, the ring- 
leaders were captured, one of them hung, and the others 
sent to France, where they expiated their crimes in the 

Pontgrave departed for France in October, leaving Cham- 
plain to pass a Canadian winter as best he might. The in- 
evitable scurvy broke out in the colony, and, before spring, 
carried off all but eight of the people, while all through the 
dreary months famished Indians hung around the little 
stockade, begging for something to keep them alive. 

In the spring of 1609, Pontgrave, with more ships and 
supplies, arrived at Tadoussac, whither Champlain hastened 
to take counsel with him ; and it was arranged that Pont- 
grave should take charge of Quebec, while Champlain pro- 
ceeded to prosecute his long-cherished scheme of discoveries. 


The savage nations inhabiting the valley of the St. Law- 
rence, at the time of Champlain's settlement at Quebec, 
were all members of the great Algonquin family. A tribe 
or nation called the Mlontagnais occupied the region in the 
immediate neighborhood of Quebec ; south of them were 
the Ahenakis tribes of northern New England ; above 
Hnchelagn, on the Ottawa, were the ffarons, afterwards 
called }Vi/(in(lotH ; while to the southward of Lake Ontario 
were located the fierce conquerors of the ancient AUegewl, 
the future scourge of New France, and the terrible destroy- 
ers of all the surrounding nations, — the powerful Iroqnois, 
or Five Nations. 

It would seem that Champlain, at some time during the 
year ItJOS, had entered into an alliance with the Alganquin 
tribes of Canada, wherein he agreed to help them in their 
constant wars with the Iroquois. This alliance in after- 
years cost France immense treasure and thousands of lives, 

* This name has a doubtful origin. In the Algonquin tongue it is 
said by Charlevoix to be Qiiebeia, or Qtttlibec, signifying a narrowing 
or contracting. The .l//e///rfc« called it Kibec or KebeqttS. The Iro- 
quois called it Studacona and the Huvons Atoxtta-re-qucc. 

and it was not until General Sullivan's terrible chastis 
nient of these fierce warriors, during the Revolution, t a 
they ceased to be formidable. 

The Enron and Algonqnin nations had agreed to meet 
Champlain in the spring with a strong war-party, and to- 
gether they were to make a campaign against the Jroqvois. 
But, up to the middle of Jlay, they had not appeared, and 
Champlain, impatient of further delay, started forward, ac- 
companied by a band of the Monfagnais Indians. A short 
distance up the river he found his allies encamped on the 
shore, and together they descended to Quebec, for the fame 
of the white man's architecture had penetrated the wilder- 
ness, and the savages were anxious to look upon the strangers 
in their own abode. Arriving at Quebec, they indulged in 
a grand feast and dance, and saw and heard with astonish- 
ment the terrible fire-arms of the French. 

Embarking in a small shallop, Champlain, with eleven 
men of Pontgrave's party, clad in armor, and armed with 
the arquebuse (a weapon, fired with a matchlock), 
and accompanied by his du--ky forest allies, proceeded up 
the turbulent stream to the mouth of the river, since known 
under the various appellations of Biviere des Iroqnois, Rich- 
elieu, St. John, Chamhly, St. Lonis, and Sorel. Reaching 
the falls of this stream, he sent back his shallop with the 
greater part of his French, and pushed on with canoes into 
the forest. Counting his forces above the rapids, he found 
there were only twenty-four canoes and sixty Indians. 

Moving according to strict military rule, with flankers 
thrown out, and having an advance- and rear-guard, the 
little war-party cautiously moved southward. Entering 
the widening sheet of water now known as Lake Cham- 
plain, they became more wary, and only moved during the 
night, for they were nearing the bounds of a dangerous 

On the morning of July 29 the party encamped on the 
western shore, not far from where the French, under Mont- 
calm, long afterwards, built Fort Carillon, captured by Gen- 
eral Amherst in 1759, and rebuilt and rechristened Crown 

This visit of Champlain was in all likelihood the first 
made by a European to the State of New York. Upon 
embaiking in the evening they met a war-party of Iroquois, 
when both parties went on shore and fortified themselves 
during the night. On the morning of July 30 a battle was 
fought, in which the Iroquois were defeated, with the as- 
sistance of the firearms of the three Frenchmen of the 

Satisfied with their victory, the Indians returned to the 
St. Lawrence, where the Hnrons and Algonqnins parted 
company for the west, while Champlain and his companion, 
with the Mon/idgnais, returned to Quebec. This was the 
first encounter of white men with the " Romans of Amer- 
ica," and in after-years the inhabitants of Canada bitterly 
repented in blood and ashes the improvident sten taken bv 

In the autumn of 1609, Champlain and P>„t ' 

} f «iju 1 ont2;rave re- 

turned to France, leaving Chauvin in command f n l^ 

In the spring of 1610 they both returned to^New 
France, in the interests of De Monts, who had h 
governor of Rochelle. They found the St T n ™ade 

■ -Lawrence and 



the Saguenay swarming with the boats of fur-traders, and 
a fleet of ships lay at Tadoussac. 

Proceeding up the river, they met a great array of 
Hurons, Algonquins, and Blontagnais at the mouth of the 
Richelieu river. Shortly after there was a terrible en- 
counter in the forest near by with a band of the Iroquois, 
in which the latter were beaten with great slaughter, by 
the assistance of the French and their wonderful fire-arms, 
though Champlain in his curious journal gives the glory to 
his God. A savage scene of torture followed, and then the 
camp broke up, and the Indians, with a crowd of prisoners, 
reserved for more cruel torture by the women and children, 
returned to their villages. 

It was not long after this affair that Champlain heard of 
the assassination of Henry the Fourth, which rendered his 
return to France necessary. Placing one Du Pare in com- 
mand, he bade" adieu once more to his wheat-fields and gar- 
dens at Quebec, and set sail for his native land. The 
following spring he was again ready for fresh adventures, 
and on May 13, 1611, arrived at Tadoussac, where tlie 
mountains were still white with snow. Repairing to the 
site of Montreal, he began, probably in June, the founda- 
tions of what has since grown to be the most important city 
in British America. For many years it was only a trading- 
post, and it was not until 1642 that permanent buildings 
were erected, and the place began to assume the appearance 
of a town. 

Champlain commenced his improvements on the place 
now partly occupied by the hospital of the Gray Nuns. 
He named the spot " Place Royale." 

The boats of the traders from below swarmed in the 
wake of Champlain's vessel, and his new settlement was 
overrun with them. Hundreds of Indians from the Ot- 
tawa, and regions to the north and west, assembled for 
purposes of trade, but the rough and Insolent crowd of 
traders awed them, and they withdrew to a point above the 
rapids of St. Louis, where they begged Clianjplain to come 
and trade with them, but not to allow the crowd of traders 
to follow. From the Indian camp, on his return, an in- 
trepid savage carried Champlain safely over the rapids in 
his canoe. 

Not long after Champlain again visited France, and had 
an interview with his patron, De Monts, who, deeply en- 
grossed in the cares of his office, gave up the management 
of his affairs in New France entirely to Champlain. On 
his way from Rochelle to Paris, Champlain was severely 
injured by a fall of his horse, but, recovering, he resumed 
his journey. Under his personal solicitation a young prince 
of the blood, Charles of Bourbon, Comte de Soissons, as- 
sumied the protectorate of New France, with the title of 
lieutenant-general and vice-regal powers. These powers he 
in turn conferred upon Champlain, giving him entire con- 
trol of the fur trade, and unlimited rights of exploration 
and settlement. 

Scarcely, however, had the articles been signed when the 
Comte de Soissons sickened and died, to the great joy of 
the Norman anfl Breton traders, who fondly believed the 
monopoly of the fur trade broken. But their joy was of 
short duration, for Henry of Bourbon, Prince of Cond^, and 
first Prince of the Blood, assumed the protectorship. 

Two great objects filled the mind of Champlain, — to find 
a route to the Indies and to convert the savages to Chris- 
tianity. He associated with himself the refractory traders 
of St. Malo and Rouen, and tried to come to terms with 
those of other cities ; but the men of Rochelle, who were 
zealous Protestants, chose rather to take the chances of 
illicit trade, and declined his offer. 

Champlain did not again vLsit Canada until the spring of 
1613. On May 27 of that year, in company with four 
Frenchmen (one of whom, Nicholas de Vignau, claimed to 
have made a journey to Hudson's bay while sojourning with 
the Indians), he left the island of St. Helen, opposite Mon- 
treal, in two canoes bound up the Ottawa. They penetrated 
as far as the sheet of water now known as Lake Coulange, 
which is a broadening of the Ottawa, where, finding that 
De Vignau was an impostor, Champlain ended his journey. 
In this wild region dwelt the ancestors of the modern Ottawa 
Indians. Returning to Montreal, he embarked the same 
autumn and returned once more to France. 

Champlain now interested himself more especially with 
the spiritual affairs of his colony, and resolved to turn his 
attention to the conversion of the natives, and to this great 
end he made arrangements to introduce representatives of 
the Catholic church into his dominions. 

Near his native town was- located a convent of E6collet 
Friars, a branch of the Franciscan order, founded early in 
the thirteenth century, by Saint Francis of Assisi. They 
were mendicants, vowed to perpetual beggary. Four of 
these friars were named by a convocation of the States Gen- 
eral, then assembled at Paris, for the missions of New 
France, — Denis Jamet, Jean Dolbeau, Joseph le Caron, 
and Pacific du Plessis. 

'•They packed their church ornaments,'' says Champlain, 
" and we our luggage." Embarking at Honfleur, they 
reached Quebec the last of May, 1615. These were the 
first representatives of the church who visited the St. Law- 
rence valley. Choosing the site for a convent, they erected 
an altar and celebrated the first mass ever said in Canada. 
Dolbeau officiated. New France knelt around him, and the 
guns of the ships responded to the ceremonies. 

The friars divided the vast regions of New France among 
them, assigning to Le Caron the Huron country, and to 
Dolbeau that of the Moiilaguais, while Jamet and Du 
Plessis remained at Quebec. The former two at once set 
forth upon their missions, and the others proceeded to build 
a convent. 

Champlain had entered into an agreement with the various 
Algonquin tribes and nations of New France to aid them in 
their wars against the formidable Iroquois, and a grand 
council of the principal chiefs and warriors assembled at 
Montreal, when it was stipulated that the confederated 
nations should furnish two thousand five hundred warriors 
for an expedition into the country of the Five Nations, and 
Champlain was to join them with as large a force of French 
as could be collected. Descending to Quebec to make prep- 
arations, he returned as soon as possible, and found the 
whole encampment broken up. Impatient at Champlain's 
delay, the Indians had set out for their villages, and with 
them had gone Father Joseph Le Caron and twelve French 
soldiers well armed. 



Champlain, with two canoes, ten Indians, Bi'uI6, his in- 
terpreter, and one other Frenchman, pushed on after them. 
Following the Ottawa, they ascended to the mouth of the 
Mattawan, which latter stream they ascended more than 
forty miles, when they crossed a portage and launched their 
canoes upon the waters of Lake Nipissing. Spending two 
days here with a band of the Algonquin race, called the 
Nqvsswffn, Champlain again embarked, and followed the 
French river to its entrance into iMer Douce, the great fresh- 
water sea of the ffiiro^js. Coasting along the eastern border 
of the broad expanse of Lake Huron, now known as 
Georgian bay, for more than a hundred miles, the party 
debarked at the inlet known as Tiiunder bay, which forms 
the southern extremity of Georgian bay, a little west of the 
present harbor of Penetanguishine. 

From thence they passed on to the Huron town of 
Otouacha, which they found very strongly fortified. Here, 
within an area of sixty or seventy miles, dwelt the Huron 
nation. Their numbers were variously estimated by dif- 
ferent writers at from ten thousand to thirty thousand. 
Contiguous to them, on the south and east, dwelt the 
" Neutral Nation," and in western New York and north- 
western Pennsylvania dwelt the Andosties and Fries, two 
powerful kindred tribes or nations of the great Algonquin 
family, both afterwards, about 1649, destroyed by the Iro- 
quois. The destruction or subjugation of these people and 
the Ilurons involved also that of all the Catholic missions 
among them, and the teriible privations and sufferings and 
horrible deaths of many of them were among the most 
dreadful of any age or country. 

From Otouacha Champlain journeyed to the towns of 
Carmaron, Tonagnainchain, Tequinonquehaye, and Car- 
hagoulia. The last-mentioned place was fortified with a 
triple row of palisades thirty-five feet high, and filled with a 
multitude of warriors. Here he found Le Caron living in 
a bark lodge built by the Indians, where he had erected a 
simple altar. On August 12, 1615, was celebrated the first 
mass in the country of the Hurons. 

Wearying of the monotonous life of the Indian towns 
and the continuous feasting, Champlain and a few of his 
companions visited five other villages within three days, all 
of which were palisaded like the larger towns. He was de- 
lighted with the country, for it was full of game and wild 
fruits, and abounded in excellent timber and good water. 

On the 17th of August they reached the capital city of 
the Hurons, called Ca-hai-gue, situated in the present 
township of Orilla, three leagues west of the Severn river, 
the outlet of Lake Simcoe. The capital was the chief 
lendezvovs, and was full of the gathering warriors. 

The Erics had promised to join the Hurons with five 
hundred of their best warriors. 

After feasting and dancing for three days, the motley 
host set forth with their canoes and scanty baggage. At 
the outlet of Lake Simcoe they stopped, and laid in a sup- 
ply of fish, and thence proceeded on their way towards 
their destination. From the fishing-ground Brul6, the in- 
terpreter, at his own request, pushed on with a few warriors 
to hasten the arrival of the five hundred warriors promised 
by the JEries. It was now the 8th of September, and al- 
ready the early frost had made its appearance. The 

crowded fleet of canoes made its way along Lake n' 
up the river Talbot, through Balsam lake, and thence down 
the chain of lakes which form the sources of *"® 
Trent. On the banks of this last-named stream they 
stopped and had a grand deer-hunt, and laid in a store of 
meat for the coming campaign. The Indians built a long 
line of fence, converging towards a point in the river, and 
several hundred warriors drove the animals in. The sport 
was wonderfully relished by Champlain and his men. 

Issuing from the mouth of the Trent, the fleet boldly 
pushed Tut into the heaving waters of Lake Ontario.* It 
is altogether probable that the fleet passed to the north of 
Amherst island, from whence the distance to the south- 
western extremity of Wolf island would be less than ten 
miles. This broad reach of open water safely passed, and 
the fleet could coast near the shore, past Cape Vincent and 
Peninsula point, and thence southeasterly across the open- 
ing of the present Black River bay, lying between Sacket's 
Harbor and Stony island, then without a name, but subse- 
quently known to the English as " Hungry bay."t It is 
not certainly known where this Indian army landed, but 
the strong probabilities are in favor of Henderson bay, at 
its southern extremity, which is perfectly land-locked, and 
a most convenient place for secreting the great fleet of 
canoes which the army must have required in their passage. 
Champlain only indirectly states the number of the Indians 
at two thousand five hundred ; but there is no doubt it was 
a very large force, for the savages well knew it would be 
worse than useless to venture into the " tiger's den" with 
less than an overwhelming force. Beyond peradventare 
the landing-place was either in Henderson or Ellisburg; 
and thus, two hundred and sixty years ago, — five yeare be- 
fore the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, — a French officer of 
high rank, with a dozen comrades of his own nation, and a 
great army of natives from the wilds of the Ottawa and 
Lake Huron, visited the region now included in Jefierson 
County. It is more than probable that Champlain and his 
few French followers were the firet Europeans that ever 
visited the county. 

This expedition probably passed through Jefierson County 
about the middle of September. From the landing-place 
they moved by land in a course parallel to the trend of the 
lake until they passed its southeastern angle, when they 
turned towards the southwest, crossed the Onondaga river, 
as the Oswego river was then called, and, marching cau- 
tiously four days' journey westward, fell upon a Seneca 
town, probably near the outlet of Canandaigua lake. Se- 
vere fighting ensued in front of the town, which was 
defended by an immensely strong stockade, in four parallel 
lines, and prepared with every available implement of In- 
dian warfare for a stubborn defense. 

After an unsuccessful attack, durinsr which movable 
towers, after the manner of the feudal ages, were used by 

■^ The niimo of this lake comes from the A/ffon,j,ii,^ word Eiituitor- 

onoiis, or OntouroiiuiiH, the Uitruii name for the Stitccrtii^ The French 

named it Lac Si. Lmiis. The Seneca name in the /;■,,„„ ■ i „„. 

^ ^"jquoiti language 
was Ui)~nan-ue-hn-aut. 

" The origin of this name is unl\nown, hut it is i.„ 

SSe^ted that 
y have come from the French designation Ln /'(,„ • 

country either on Blaclc river or Salmon river. 

ivcn to the 



the besiegers, they withdrew from the contest and waited 
for five days for their Erie allies, who failing to come, the 
army, in spite of Ohamplain's remonstrances, drew off and 
made a rapid retreat, hotly pursued by the enemy. 

The assailants had seventeen men wounded, and Cham- 
plain himself was twice struck by the arrows of the Iroquois. 
The wounded, including Champlain, were carried from the 
field in baskets slung on the shoulders of the warriors. 

After a tedious march through the forest the retreating 
army reached the rendezvous in Jefferson County, and, 
launching their canoes, recrossed Lake Ontario and 
speedily returned to their own country. The Indians had 
promised an escort for Champlain on his return to Quebec; 
but the unsuccessful issue of the campaign had considerably 
reduced their ardor, and the prowess of their white allies 
being somewhat lessened in their estimation, they were not 
as ready to accommodate as in the beginning of the move- 
ment. The escort was not furnished, and the wounded 
Champlain was obliged to accompany the iTarons to their 
villages, where he passed the winter as the guest of a chief 
named Durautoi, who kindly offered him the use of his 

During the winter the Indians went on a great deer-hunt 
among the lakes and streams lying to the north of Lake 
Ontario, and Champlain accompanied them. At one time 
he lost his way in the forest and wandered several days be- 
fore he found the camp, and his chief would never after- 
wards allow him to go out in the forest alone. The hunt 
lasted thirty-eight days, during which they killed one hun- 
dred and twenty deer. The party was nineteen days re- 
turning with their game to their villages. 

Upon his return from the hunt, Champlain visited Le 
Caron, at Carahagonha, where he found him praying, 
preaching, making catechisms, and learning the Huron 

The two adventurers, the soldier and the friar, made a 
journey of exploration together, during which they visited 
a people called the Tobacco nation, a powerful tribe, akin 
to, and soon after incorporated with, the Hurons. Their 
country was situated south of the Great Georgian bay. 

They also visited a tribe called by Champlain the Glieveux 
lieleves, who wore very little or no clothing, but were very 
-cleanly in their habits. 

In the early spring, Champlain, now exceeding anxious 
for the welfare of his colonies, left his hospitable entertainers 
and returned via Lake Huron, Lake Nipissing, and the 
Ottawa river to Montreal and Quebec. On his way he set- 
tled a dangerous and threatening feud between the Uurons 
and Algonquins. Le Caron had preceded him, and when 
Champlain, accompanied by Duraniol, arrived at Quebec, 
he found all the friars together chanting hymns in their 
chapel. There was great rejoicing over the return of the 
wanderers, for they had long been given up as dead by the 
colonists. The chief, Duranfol, after a short sojourn, re- 
turned to his country, well pleased with what he had seen. 

Champlain now set himself to work strengthening the 
fortifications of Quebec, and endeavoring to organize some 
system among the motley crew of merchants, traders, Hugue- 
nots, and Catholics, in all amounting to not more than sixty 
or seventy, who constituted the citizens of Quebec. 

The interpreter, Brul6, who had been sent forward of 
the great expedition of the previous fall, to hurry up the 
five hundred Eries, crossed Lake Ontario, probably near its 
western end, visited the Eries, and accompanied their con- 
tingent to the enemy's country, when, finding the liiirons 
had left, they soon returned to their own country. Brul6 
afterwards had many adventures among the savages. At 
one time he was captured by the Iroquois, and very roughly 
handled, but finally returned to his countrymen after an 
absence of three years. 

Champlain used every effort to build up a prosperous 
colony at Quebec, and visited France annually to forward 
its interests and encourage emigration. In 1620 he brought 
his wife to the colony, where she remained four years. 
She was a beautiful woman and full of religious zeal, 
and during her stay worked among the savages with un- 
tiring assiduity. In the summer of 1622 the long smoth- 
ered wrath of the Iroquois broke forth and their war-parties 
fell savagely upon the inhabitants of Canada. They had 
two routes by which they approached the Canadian settle- 
ments : one by way of the Mohawk and Lake Champlain 
valleys, the other by way of the old route through Jeffer- 
son County and down the St. Lawrence ; and no doubt 
many a daubed and befeathered band of these terrible 
dwellers in the wilderness passed and repassed through the 
territory now occupied by the thrifty people of Jefferson 
County. They penetrated even to the gates of Quebec, 
driving the frightened inhabitants within its strong fortifi- 
cations, and spreading death and desolation wherever they 

Important changes now occurred in the condition and 
government of the colftny. The viceroy, Montmorency, 
was succeeded by the Due de Ventadour, who was wholly 
under the control of the Jesuits, which powerful order 
soon supplanted the Franciscans, and thenceforth controlled 
the spiritual affairs of the colony. 

The advent of this famous order was about the years 
1625-26, and its first representatives to arrive in New 
France were Charles Lalemant, Enemond Masse, and Jean 
de Brebeuf But the colony of Quebec increased slowly. 
Twenty years after it was founded it could scarcely be con- 
sidered as more than a missionary and trading station. 

In 1628 there were four principal trading points in the 
valley of the St. Lawrence, to wit : Quebec, Trois Rivieres, 
Montreal, and Tadoussac ; the latter, at the mouth of the 
Saguenay, being the most important. The fur trade was 
really the only business carried on, and this was so extensive 
that in 1628 it was estimated to amount to twenty thou- 
sand beaver skins alone, besides large numbers of the skins 
of other animals. 

The Black river region of Jefferson and Lewis counties 
was a wonderful resort for the beaver,* and no doubt the 
venturesome courier des bois, and other agents of the fur- 
traders, annually visited the country. The mouth of the 
Riviire de la Famine, as the Black river is supposed to 
have been called, was exceedingly easy of access from the 
St. Lawrence, and where now stands the busy manufactur- 

■* It was called Oastnrland by the French company who began set- 
tlements at the Long falls in 1794. 



ing city of Watertown, in all probability rose the cabin of 
the fur-trader and the bark lodge of the swarthy Indian. 

Under the Cardinal Eichelieu, a company, called " The 
Hundred Associates," was formed, with the great cardinal 
at its head. All other grants and mon opolies were set aside, 
and about 1627 the whole of New France became subject 
to this association. They were gi-anted a perpetual monop- 
oly of the fur trade, and of all other commerce for fifteen 
years. The trade of the colony was declared free for the 
same period from all duties and imports. As an evidence 
of his good will, the king, Louis XIII., furnished the 
company with two ships-of-war completely armed and 
equipped. The company, on their part, bound themselves 
to settle, during the year 1628, two or three hundred arti- 
sans, and before 1643 to increase the number to four thou- 
sand persons of both sexes, whom they were to support for 
three years, and furnish lands for settlement and mainte- 
nance. Every settler must he a Frenchman and a Catholic. 

The capital stock was three hundred thousand livres. 
Champlain was a member of the association. 


In April, 1628, four armed vessels, with a fleet of trans- 
ports, under command of Eoquemont, sailed from Dieppe 
for the St. Lawrence. At the same time an English squad- 
ron, under command of Sir David Kirk, a Calvinist refugee 
of Dieppe, who had taken service under' the English, also 
sailed on the same destination. War had broken out be- 
tween the two governments and trouble awaited the Cana- 
dian colonies, who were already on the verge of starvation. 
The Huguenots were forbidden the privilege of settling in 
New France, and they gladly entered the service "of Eng- 
land, and thus became enemies of the Catholic settlers on 
the St. Lawrence. 

The English squadron first arrived in the river, and 
Kirk sent a polite summons to Champlain to surrender, 
which was promptly declined, and the squadron disappeared 
down the St. Lawrence without making any demonstration 
against Quebec. 

On his way down the river he encountered the vessels of 
Eoquemont, which he cut to pieces, and captured the con- 
voy of supplies. Long and anxiously the dwellers of Quebec 
watched along the horizon for the expected fleet, but it 
came not, and the weary months of cold and snow that suc- 
ceeded reduced the place to the last extremity ; and when 
in July, 1629, Sir David Kirk again appeared and de- 
manded the surrender, the common people at least hailed 
him as a deliverer. Upon' a second summons, Champlain, 
now reduced to the starvation point, readily surrendered, 
and for the first time, on the 20th of July, 1629, the 
English colors floated over Quebec. 

Champlain and the Jesuits were taken to England, 
whence tlie chief soon returned to France. 

In July, 1632, just three years after its surrender to 
Kirk, Quebec was in turn given up to a French squadron 
under the command of Emery do Caen, in accordance with 
the terms of the treaty of peace between the two nations. 

Thomas Kirk, a brother of Sir David, who was in com- 
mand, .struck his colors, embarked liis followers, and returned 
to England. 

In the spring of 1633, Champlain arrived, with a new 
commission from Cardinal Eichelieu, and again assumed 
command of Quebec for the company of. the " Hundred 

The Jesuits had returned, and once more the banner of 
France and of absolutism floated over the forests of the St. 

Champlain continued in command, taking up his perma- 
nent residence at Quebec, where he remained in the dis- 
charge of his duties until Christmas, 1635, when death 
took him from the scenes of his long and laborious career. 
In him New France lost her greatest benefactor, her wisest 
statesman, her most indomitable explorer, and her bravest 

Champlain was emphatically the " Father of New 
France," in whose service he spent twenty-seven years of 
his life, during which he encountered every peril of the 
sea, every danger of the wilderness, laid the foundations of 
two of the greatest cities of Canada, and planted broad and 
deep the germs which have since developed into a flourishing 

It is reasonably certain that he was the first European 
who visited the region now comprised within the limits of 
Jefferson County. In that day the immense region south 
of the St. Lawrence and the great lakes was a wilderness, 
with only three or four settlements along the Atlantic coast. 
Where now spread the broad domains of twenty-seven sov- 
ereign States, inhabited by more than thirty millions of 
people, then stretched a vast region of forest and prairie, 
covered with myriads of noble game, and domineered over 
by a scanty population of wild savages, continually at war 
with one another. 

By the middle of the seventeenth century, the relative 
conditions of the colonies of France and England had ma- 
terially changed. The former still clung to, and were thinly 
scattered along, the St. Lawrence, while the English colo- 
nists had advanced slowly, but surely, along the Blerrimac, 
the Connecticut, the Hudson, and the James, planting, as 
they proceeded, the germs of those flourishing colonies that, 
a little more than a century later, became strong enough to 
throw ofi" the oppressive rule of the mother country, and 
consolidate into that remarkable confederation which has 
thus far triumphed over every foreign enemy, and emerged 
victorious from the greatest civil commotion i:«eorded in 

Its institutions are still on trial, and though the possi- 
bility of maintaining a republic, pure and simple, is not yet 
fully demonstrated, yet a government " Li/ the i^cople" it 
may be in a modified form, has become an established 
entity, and must eventually take the place of those cruder 
and more absolute forms of theocracy and monarchy, upon 
whose walls is plainly written " Mene, mene, tekcl npharsin !" 


The next adventurer who set foot upon the lands within 
the bounds of Jefferson County was possibly Robert Cave- 
lier de la Salle, who came to Canada in the sprinn- of 1667 

where he engaged in the fur trade. In the 

year 1669, it is 

claimed by some writers, Lu Salle crossed over fron T V 

Erie to the head-waters of the Allechenv m ^r.,. ' o 

a J, •Ji some one or 



the streams which flow into the Ohio, and descended to the 
latter stream, whicli he explored as far as the falls at Louis- 
Tille, and thence returned by land to Cataraqni (Fort Fron- 
tenac) via of the eastern end of Lake Ontario ; this would 
probably carry him through JefiFerson County. If true, he 
probably passed through this region in the spring of 1670. 
It is also possible that he passed through the county during 
his wonderful journey from his fort on the Illinois to Fron- 
tenac, in the winter of 1679-80. 

The Iroquois had remained hostile to the French since 
Champlain's first expedition against them in 1609, and it 
had long been evident that a strong fortification was needed 
at the foot of Lake Ontario, both as a protection to the 
traders and a menace to the Indians. The construction of 
a fortification had been repeatedly recommended, and finally, 
in June, 1673, Frontenac, the governor of Canada, took 
possession of the spot where Kingston now stands, with an 
imposing force, and in the presence of sixty Iroquois chiefs, 
who had come on a peace mission. Fort Cataraqni was 
commenced. It was a strong palisaded work, and mounted 
several light guns. 

• In 1675, La Salle was invested with the seigniory of 
this fort, and received a grant of the adjacent lands, extend- 
ing four leagues on the river front and half a league in 
depth, together with several of the neighboring islands. 
He was also raised to the rank of the untitled nobles. In 
1676 and 1677 he rebuilt the fort entirely of stone, and 
rechristened it, in honor of the governor, " Fort Froiitcnac." 

For the purpose of trading on the lake, and with the 
view of eventually using them in exploring expeditions. 
La Salle also constructed four small, decked vessels, and 
launched them at Frontenac. These were the first Euro- 
pean-built water craft on Lake Ontario. 

Among those who were stationed at Frontenac was the 
Franciscan Rfecollet Friar, Louis Hennepin, afterwards 
famous as the companion of La Salle, and for his discov- 
eries on the Mississippi river. He superintended the 
building of a chapel for the use of himself and his col- 
league, Buisset, planted a huge cross in the fort, and 
instructed the Iroquois inhabitants of the place, which lat- 
ter consisted of converts to Christianity who had left their 
native country and become residents in Canada. Hennepin 
also made journeys in the neighboring waters in a canoe, 
and in the winter of 1 677-78, in company with a soldier 
of the fort, crossed the northeastern extremity of Lake On- 
tario on snow-shoes, and made a winter-journey along the 
country lying eastward of the lake to the capital of the 
Iroquois Confederacy. They afterwards visited the Oiieidas 
and Mohawks, and after a short sojourn retraced their steps 
to Frontenac, having twice passed through the present 
county of Jefferson. 

On November 18, 1678, La Motte and Hennepin, ac- 
companied by sixteen men, went on board one of La Salle's 
small vessels, of about ten tons' capacity, and sailed for 
Niagara, which place they reached on December 6, after 
encountering many hardships. The next day he climbed 
the heights on the Canadian side of the river, and pushing 
his way over the snow-covered country discovered the great 
fall, of which he. gave a very minute description, in the 
main correct, with the exception that he vastly over-esti- 

mated the height of the fall, which he placed at five hun- 
dred feet, and afterwards raised to six hundred. He was 
probably the first white man to look upon the stupendous 
cataract, though it was known to exist in Champlain's day. 

In 1682 Frontenac was recalled from Canada, and Le 
Febvre de la Barre was appointed in his place as governor, 
with Meules as intendant, in the place of Duchesneau. 

These personages arrived at Quebec in the month of 
August. Trouble was brewing with the Iroquois, and La 
Barre used every effort to conciliate them. Frontenac, 
just previous to his removal, had held a council with a 
deputation from the Confederacy, when a sort of quasi 
agreement was entered into by the respective parties ; but 
when La Barre assumed the reins of government he found 
matters in a critical situation. He blustered and made 
braggadocio speeches, and threatened a terrible vengeance 
upon the Indians if they did not stop plundering the 
French traders and murdering their allies. But the 
haughty savages treated the governor as of little account, 
and, no doubt urged on by Dongan, the English governor 
of the colony of New York, and the Dutch traders at Fort 
Orange (Albany), continued their reprisals until there was 
every prospect of war. La Barre repeatedly wrote for more 
troops, and made every preparation within his power for an 
expedition into the Iroquois country, in which he wrote 
the king that he would " perish at its head or destroy his 

In the mean time every effort was made to bring about a 
peaceful solution of the difficulties, and to this end La 
Barre sent Charles Le Moyne, a veteran pioneer of Mont- 
real, whom the Indians had known for twenty years, as 
envoy to the Onondngas. He also employed the good of- 
fices of the Jesuit, Jean de Lamberville, who had long 
lived in the capacity of a missionary among them. During 
these conciliatory propositions La Barre continued to col- 
lect troops and stores at Frontenac, and built a number of 
vessels, ostensibly for use against the Iroquois, but really, 
as his enemies claimed, for the purpose of trading and sell- 
ing brandy to the Indians. 

The new governor proved hostile to La Salle's operations, 
and placed every obstacle in his way in order to break up 
his trading-posts, and eventually monopolize the fur trade 
for himself and his friends. He even went so far as to 
give the Iroquois full liberty to attack La Salle wherever 
they should find him ; and in the spring of 1683 he sent 
the Chevalier de Baugis with canoes and men to take pos- 
session of La Salle's fort, St. Louis, on the Illinois river. 

He also sent seven canoes and fourteen men, with a large 
quantity of goods, to trade with the tribes of the Illinois 
and Mississippi. A war-party of Senecas and Cayugas 
invaded the Illinois country in February, 1684, attacked 
Baugis in La Salle's fort, and captured and plundered the 
governor's seven canoe-loads of goods, making no discrimi- 
nation between him and La Salle. When La Barre heard 
of these proceedings he was furious. He plainly foresaw 
the destruction of all the northwestern tribes, the ruin of 
his fur trade, and its eventual transfer to the English and 
Dutch at Albany and New York, unless something was 
done immediately. 

Under the influence of De Lamberville, and the numer- 



ous presents sent them by La Barre, the Onondagas were 
anxious to serve as negotiators between the French and the 
Senecas, to which the latter finally consented. 

In the mean time the English were not idle, and to win 
over the haughty Iroquois to their interests, Go^'ernor 
Dongan sent out one Arnold Viele, a Dutch interpreter, as 
envoy to Onondaga, the Confederate capital.. 

But Yiele committed a great blunder at the first. He 
informed the Onondagas, at his first interview, that the 
English were masters of their country, that the Indians 
were subjects of Great Britain, and that they must hold no 
councils nor make no treaties with the French without per- 
mission. And here appears a celebrated character upon 
the scene. He was a famous Onondaga orator, and though 
not a hereditary chief, yet having great influence among 
them by reason of his eloquence. 

His Indian name was Otreouafi, and he was familiarly 
known as " Big Mouth," or " Big Throat." His French 
cognomen was La Grande Guela, which the historian, La 
Hontan, Latinized, and called Grangula, and the Scotchman, 
Golden, transformed into Ga-ran-gu-la, by which appellation 
he has generally been known. The pride of the renowned 
orator, as a representative of the great Confederation, was 
deeply touched. " You say that we are subjects of the 
King of England and the Duke of York ; but we say that 
we are brothers. We must take care of ourselves. The 
coat-of-arms which you have fastened to that post cannot 
defend us against Onontio. We tell you that we bind a 
covenant chain to our arm and to his. We shall take the 
Senecas by one hand and Onontio by the other, and their 
hatchet and his sword shall be thrown into deep water."* 

Big Mouth proudly asserted the independence of his 
tribe, and told the warriors to close their ears to the words 
of the Dutchman, who spoke as if he were drunk. Before 
the council broke up it was resolved that Big Mouth, with 
an embassy of chiefs and old men, should go with Le 
Moyne and meet La Barre. 

While these transactions were taking place at Onondaga 
the French governor had completed his preliminary ar- 
rangements, and taken the initial step for a campaign 
against the Senecas, whom, he wrot« the king, it was his 
purpose to exterminate. On the 10th of July he set out 
from Quebec with about two hundred men, and proceeded 
to ^Montreal, where, according to his own account, his force 
was increased to seven hundred Canadians, one hundred 
and thirty regulars, and two hundred mission Indians. 
The army was expected to cross Lake Ontario and rendez- 
vous at Niagara, where Greysolon Du Lhut, the leader of 
the famous courier des hois of the northwest, and La Du- 
rantaye, were to meet him with large reinforcements of 
rangers and Indians. 

After a long stay at ^Montreal the army embarked at La 
Chine, crossed Lake St. Louis, and commenced the ascent 
of the upper St. Lawrence. Baron La Hontan, who was 
then a subaltern ofiioer in one of the companies of reo-ulars 
accompanied the expedition, of which he wrote an interest- 
ing account. After a tedious passage the army passed the 
Thousand Islands and came to a halt in the harbor under 

- Golden, Fh-c jVatioitB, 1727. 

the walls of Fort Frontenac. Here it went into camp on 
low ground, where a malarial fever soon broke out among 
them", carried off a large number, and disabled many more. 
The governor himself was brought by it to the brmk of 
the grave, according to La Hontan. 

Discouraged by sickness and the consequent weakening 
of his army. La Barre came down from his lofty and 
threatening position, and determined to make peace even at 
the price of heavy concessions to the belligerent Senecas, 
and, with this object in view, sent Le Jloyne to persuade 
the savao-es to meet him on their own side of the lake and 
treat for peace. 

Gathering up such of his men as were able to move, he 
crossed the lake to the mouth of "Riviere la Famine," 
and prepared to meet the Indian deputies. The fever fol- 
lowed the troops from Frontenac, provisions failed, and La 
Barre was beginning to despair of accomplishing anything 
either by diplomacy or force of arms, when, on September 
3, Le Moyne appeared at La Famine, accompanied by Big 
Mouth and thirteen other deputies. La Barre set a great 
feast of bread, wine, and fish before them, and on the morn- 
ing of the 4th the council began."}" 

The governor had sent away all his sick and disabled men 
previous to the arrival of the deputation, and represented 
to them that he had left his army at Frontenac, and brought 
with him only an escort. But the Onondagas were not so 
easily deceived. Having among them one who understood 
a little French, they contrived by listening among the tents 
in the evening to find out the true situation of affairs. 


The following description of this remarkable meeting 
and the speeches of La Barre and Big Mouth we take from 
Parkman's " Frontenac and New France," just issued from 
the press. 

" The council was held in an open spot near the French 
encampment. La Barre was seated in an arm-chair. The 
Jesuit Bruyas stood by him as interpreter, and the officers 
were ranged on his right and left. The Indians sat on the 
ground in a row opposite the governor, and two lines of sol- 
diei-s, forming two sides of a square, closed the intervening 
spaces. Among the officers was La Hontan, a spectator of 
the whole proceeding. He may be called a man in advance 
of his time ; for he had the caustic, skeptical, and mocking 
spirit which a century later marked the approach of the 
great revolution, but which was not a characteristic of the 
reign of Louis XIA'. He usually told the truth when he 
had no motive to do otherwise, and yet was capable at times 
of prodigious mendacity. There is no re;ison to believe 
that he indulged in it on this occasion, and his account of 
what he now saw and heard may probably be taken as sub- 
stantially correct. According to him, La Barre opened the 
council as follows : 

^ " ' The king, my master, being informed that the Five 
Nations of the Ir;qnois have long acted in a manner ad- 

t The precise locality of this council is not linown. It is supposed 
to have been in the vicinity of the mouth of Black river, and might 

have been 

in Lyons, Brownsville, Hounsfiold, Uenderson, or Ellis 
burg. i.Yom a letter written by the commissary uf the expedition i- 
^vould seem to have been in the latter town, near the mar=h 



verse to peace, has ordered me to come with an escort to 
this place, and to send Akouessan (Le Moyne) to Onon- 
daga to invite the principal chiefs to meet me. It is the 
wish of this great king that you and I should smoke the 
calumet of peace together, provided that you promise in 
the name of the Mohawks, Oiieidas, Onondagas, Coyvgas, 
and Senecas, to give entire satisfaction and indemnity to 
his subjects, and do nothing in future which may occasion 

" Then he recounted the offenses of the Iroquois. First, 
they had maltreated and robbed French traders in the 
country of the Illinois. ' Wherefore,' said the governor, 
' I am ordered to demand reparation, and, in case of refusal, 
to declare war against you. 

" ' Next, the warriors of the Five Nations have introduced 
the English into the lakes which belong to the king, my 
master, and among the tribes who are his children, in order 
to destroy the trade of his subjects, and seduce these people 
from the obedience they owe him. I am willing to forget 
this ; but, should it happen again, I am expressly ordered 
to declare war against you. 

" ' Thirdly, the warriors of the Five Nations have made 
sundry barbarous inroads into the country of the Illinois 
and Miamis, seizing, binding, and leading into captivity an 
infinite number of these savages in time of peace. They 
are the children of my king, and are not to remain your 
slaves. They must at once be set free and sent home. If 
you refuse to do this, I am expressly ordered to declare war 
against you.' 

" La Barre concluded by assuring Big Mouth, as repre- 
senting the Five Nations of the Iroquois, that the French 
would leave them in peace if they made atonement for the 
past and promised good conduct for the future ; but that 
if they did not heed his words their villages should be 
burned and they themselves destroyed. He added, though 
he knew the contrary, that the governor of New York 
would join him in a war against them. 

" During the delivery of this martial harangue Big Mouth 
sat silent and attentive, his eyes fixed on the bowl of his 
pipe. When the interpreter had ceased he rose, walked 
gravely two or three times around the lines of the assembly, 
then stopped before the governor, looked steadily at him, 
stretched hig" tawny arm, opened his capacious jaws, and 
uttered himself as follows : 

" ' Onontio,* I honor you, and all the warriors who are 
with me honor you. Your interpreter has ended his speech 
and now I begin mine. Listen to my words. 

" ' Onontio, when you left Quebec you must have thought 
that the heat of the sun had burned the forests that make 
our pountry inaccessible to the French, or that the lake had 
overflowed them, so that we could not escape from our vil- 
lages. You must have thought so,'Onontio ; . and curiosity 
to see such a fire or such a flood must have brought you 
to this place. Now your eyes are opened ; for I and my 
warriors have come to tell you that the Senecas, Cayugas, 
Onondagas, Oneidas, and Mohawks, are all alive. I thank 
you, in their name, for bringing back the calumet of peace, 
which they gave to your predecessors ; and I give you joy 

* The name by which the Indians called the governor of Ciinnda. 

that you have not dug up the hatchet which has been so 
often red with the blood of your countrymen. 

" ' Listen, Onontio. I am not asleep ; my eyes are open; 
and, by the sun that gives me light, I see a great captain, 
at the head of a band of soldiers, who talks like a man in 
a dream. He says that he is oome to smoke the pipe of 
peace with the Onondagas, but I see that he came to knock 
them in the head, if so many of his Frenchmen were not 
too weak to fight. I see Onontio raving in a camp of sick 
men, whose lives the Great Spirit has saved by smiting them 
with disease. Our women had snatched war-clubs, and our 
children and old men seized bows and arrows to attack your 
camp, if our warriors had not restrained them when your 
messenger, AJcouessan, appeared in our village.' 

" He next justified the pillage of French traders, on the 
ground, very doubtful in this case, that they were carrying 
arms to the Illinois, enemies of the confederacy ; and he 
flatly refused to make reparation, telling La Barre that even 
the old men of his tribe had no fear of the French. He 
also avowed, boldly, that the Iroquois had conducted English 
traders to the lakes. 

" ' We are born free,' he exclaimed ; ' We depend neither 
on Onontio or Corlear.f We have the right to go whither- 
soever we please, to take with us whomever we please, 
and buy and sell of whomever we please. If your allies 
are your slaves, or your children, treat them like slaves or 
children, and forbid them to deal with anybody but your 

" ' We have knocked the Illinois on the head, because 
they cut down the tree of peace, and hunted the beaver on 
our lands. We have done less than the English and the 
French, who have seized upon the lands of many tribes, 
driven them away, and built towns, villages, and forts in 
their country. 

" 'Listen, Onontio. My voice is the voice of the Five 
Tribes of the Iroquois. When they buried the hatchet at 
Cataraqui (Fort Frontenac), in presence of your predeces- 
sor, they planted the tree of peace in the middle of the fort, 
that it might be a post of traders and not of soldiers. Take 
care that all the soldiers you have brought with you, shut 
up in so small a fort, do not choke this tree of peace. I 
assure you in the name, of the Five Tribes that our war- 
riors will dance the dance of the calumet under its branches, 
and that they will sit quiet on their mats and never dig up 
the hatchet till their brothers, Onontio and Corlear, sepa- 
rately or together, make ready to attack the country that 
the Great Spirit has given to our ancestors.' 

" The session presently closed, and La Barre withdrew to 
his tent, where, according to La Hontan, he vented his 
feelings in invective, till reminded that good manners were 
not to be expected from an Iroquois. 

"Big Mouth, on his part, entertained some of the French 
at a feast, which he opened in person by a dance. There 
was another session in the afternoon, and terms of peace 
were settled in the evening. The tree of peace was planted 
anew ; La Barre promised not to attack the Senecas, and 
Big Mouth, in spite of his former declaration, consented 

I Corlear was the name given by the Indians to the English and 
Dutch governors of New York. 



that they should make amends for the pillage of the traders. 
Oq the other hand, he declared that they would fight the 
Illinois to the death ; and La Barre dared not utter a word 
in behalf of his allies. 

" The Onondaga next demanded that the council-fire 
should be removed from Fort Frontenac to La Famine, in 
the Iroquois country. This point was yielded without re- 
sistance ; and La Barre promised to decamp, and set out 
for home on the following morning. 

" Such was the futile and miserable end of the grand ex- 
pedition. Even the promise to pay for the plundered goods 
was contemptuously broken. The honor rested with the 
Iroquois. They had spurned the French, repelled the 
claims of the English, and by act and word asserted their 
independence of both.'' 

It is a great pity that the precise location of this treaty- 
ground cannot now be determined. That it was within the 
limits of Jefferson County is altogether probable ; and the ■ 
spot, if known, would well deserve a monument. 

But such matters have been badly neglected in America, 
and in many instances the living generation knows little or 
nothing of the history of the one preceding. 

La Barre's shortcomings were understood throughout the 
colonies, and discontent was everywhere apparent. The 
peace of La Famine was everywhere looked upon as merely 
a hollow truce, and the dangers of war were in no wise 
lessened, but, at the utmost, only postponed for a few 

The intendant, Meules, lost no time in placing before the 
king a statement of the condition of the country, and the 
next returning ship from France brought the following from 
the king. 

" Monsieur, De La Baree, — Having been informed 
that your years do not permit you to support the fatigues 
inseparable from your office of governor and lieutenant- 
general in Canada, I send you this letter to acquaint you 
that I have selected Monsieur de Denonville to serve in 
your place ; and my intention is that, on his arrival, after 
resigning to him the command, with all instructions con- 
cerning it, you embark for your return to France. 

" Louis." 

Upon the arrival of the Marquis de Denonville, he found' 
the affairs of the colony in anything but a prosperous con- 
dition. The Indians of the northwest were in mortal fear 
lest the Iroquois should fall upon them ; the fur trade was 
languishing, and business generally prostrate. 

The rival interests of France and Endand were struf- 
gling for supremacy in America, and each was using every 
effort to retain the influence and traffic of the Indians. 

A sharp correspondence took place between Denonville 
and Dongan, the English governor of the colony of New 
York, but nothing came of it, unless it was the further em- 
bittering of the colonists on both sides, and hastening thtit 
chronic condition of things which sooner or later must 
culminate in open war. 

The English had established a colony at Hudson's bay 
for the purpose of carrying on the fur trade with the north- 
ern Indians; and a rival French company had been formed 

in Canada, called the " Compagnie da Nord," and it was 
finally resolved by the latter to expel the English company. 
Denonville sanctioned the scheme, and though the two 
nations were at peace, he sent the Chevalier de Troyes from 
Montreal, with about a hundred Canadians, to execute it. 

This adventurous company ascended the Ottawa, and, 
traversing the wilderness, ari-ived in the neighborhood of 
the English posts in the spring of 1686. With unparal- 
leled audacity, they attacked and captured the four strong 
posts owned by the Hudson's Bay Company, including the 
shipping which was in the region. Immediately after this 
exploit, De Troyes, leaving one of his subordinates in com- 
mand, returned, and reported his success to Denonville. 

In the mean time, the regular force in Canada had been 
increased to sixteen hundred men, and Denonville resolved 
to fall upon the Seneca nation, and exterminate them. The 
king had sent him one hundred and sixty-eight thousand 
livres in money and supplies, and he was in good condition 
to make a successful campaign, which he hoped would set- 
tle the question of Iroquois supremacy, and firmly establish 
the fur trade of the northwest in the hands of the French. 

In the spring of 1687 he assembled his army, consisting 
of regulars, Canadian militia, and Indians, to the number 
of more than two thousand, at Frontenac, preparatory to 
crossing Lake Ontario, for the grand rendezvous at Iron- 
dequoit bay, and on the 4lh of July he embarked his army 
in four hundred bateaux and canoes, and, ci'ossing the out- 
let of Lake Ontario, proceeded along the shore towards the 
appointed rendezvous. About the 10th, after a tempestuous 
passage, the fleet came in sight of the headlands of Iron- 
dequoit bay, and far off on the western horizon the army 
descried a multitude of canoes advancing to meet them. 
Tonti had come from Fort St. Louis, in Illinois, with six- 
teen French and two hundred Indians; while La Durantaye 
and Du Lhut, with one hundred and eighty courier des hois 
and four hundred Indians, had come from Michilimackinac 
and the straits of Detroit, to assist iii humbling the terrible 

Altogether, Indians and French, Denonville found him- 
self at the head of nearly three thousand warriors. 

" All were gathered on the low point which separates 
Irondequoit bay from Lake Ontario. ' Never,' says an eye- 
witness, had Canada seen such a sight ; and never, perhaps, 
will she see such a sight again. Here was the camp of the 
regulars, from France, with the general's headquarters ; the 
camp of the four battalions of Canadian militia, commanded 
by the noblesse of the country ; the camp of the Christian 
Indians; and, farther on, a swarm of savages of every 
nation. Their feathers were different, and so were their 
manners, their weapons, their decorations, and their da^ices. 
They sang and whooped and harangued in every accent and 
tongue. Most of them wore nothing but horns on their 
hea'ds, and the tails of beasts behind their backs. Their 
faces were painted red or green, with black or white spots ; 
their ears and noses were hung with ornaments of iron ; 
and their naked bodies were daubed with figures of various 
sorts of animals."* 

This motley but formidable army advanced in order of 

Ptirkman'a Frontenac and New France. 



battle towards the Seneca towns, twenty-two miles to the 
southeast of the bay. They reached the place on the second 
day, and, after a sharp fight with a few hundred Senecas, 
took possession of the ground where the largest town had 
stood, but which had been fired and abandoned by the 
enemy. The army destroyed all the provisions, and cut 
down immense fields of corn, killed great numbers of hogs, 
and laid the country waste for the space of twelve days, 
when it was faced to the north, and returned to the rendez- 
vous with the loss of five or six men killed, and about 
twenty wounded. The loss of the Senecas was stated at 
about forty killed and sixty wounded. 

From Irondequoit bay the army proceeded to Niagara, 
where a strong stockade was built on the spot occupied by 
La Salle's fort, nine years previously. Leaving a hundred 
men under the Chevalier de Troyes, as a garrison, the rest 
of the great army returned to Montreal. 

.The succeeding year, Big Mouth, accompanied by six 
Onondaga, Cayuga, and Oneida chiefs, and escorted, it is 
said, by no less than twelve hundred warriors, made a visit 
to Canada, in all probability going by way of La Famine 
or Black River bay, and thence down the St. Lawrence. 

With this powerful body of warriors to back his embassy. 
Big Mouth spoke as became the ambassador of a mighty 
people. He told the governor that the Indians well knew 
the weakness of the French, and had formed a plan for 
burning all the houses and barns, and destroying all the 
cattle, after which, they would fall upon the starving in- 
habitants in their forts, -and destroy them altogether. The 
crafty old orator pretended that but for his special inter- 
ference, this plan would have been put in execution. 

A declaration of neutrality was drawn up and signed by 
Big Mouth, in which he agreed that within a certain time 
deputies from the whole confederacy should come to Mon- 
treal and conclude a general peace. 

But the Hiirons were afraid lest they should not be in- 
cluded in the negotiations, and their most celebrated chief, 
Kon-dia-ronk, or the Rat, was determined that no treaty 
should be signed which did not include the tribes of the 
lakes in its provisions. He accordingly gathered a party 
of about forty warriors, and came down the lakes to harass 
the Iroquois. 

On his way he stopped at Fort Frontenac, where he 
was told that a treaty of peace was then in process 
of arrangement, to which deputies from the Iroquois were 
no doubt at that moment on the way, and that he had 
better go home. To this he only replied, " It is well." 
Secretly determining that no half-way treaty should be con- 
summated, he laid his plans accordingly. Learning that 
the Iroquois embassy were coming overland via- La Famine, 
he hastily crossed the lower end of the lake and put his 
men in ambuscade to intercept them. The locality was no 
doubt somewhere on Black River bay. This was in the 
summer of 1688. 

The wily chief had not long to wait, for an advance 
band of messengers, who were precursors of the embassy, 
soon approached the landing-place. At their head was a 
famous chief named Teganisorens, with whom came three 
other chiefs and a number of warriors. Scarcely had they 
landed when they received a volley from the ITurons, which 

killed one of the chiefs and wounded all the rest. The 
balance of the party were taken prisoners, and the cunning 
Fat told them that this aiFair was brought about by the 
suggestion of Denonville, who had told him that a war- 
party was to come that way. When the envoys assured 
him that they came in the interests of peace, he pretended 
to be thunderstruck at the perfidy of the governor. " Go, 
my brothers," he exclaimed, " go home to your, people. 
Though there is war between us, I give you your liberty. 
Onontio has made me do so black a deed that I shall never 
be happy again till your five tribes take a just vengeance 
upon him."* 

Giving them a supply of guns, powder, and ball, he sent 
them on their way pleased with his considerate treatment, 
but terribly exasperated at what they deemed the treachery 
of the governor. 

Recrossing the lake, Komliaronk proceeded alone to 
Fort Frontenac, and, as he left the gate to rejoin his party, 
he coolly said, "I have killed the peace; we shall see how 
the governor will get out of this business, "f 

This transaction put an immediate end to the negotiations, 
though the Iroquois pretended to believe Denonville's ex- 
planation, and offered to continue the conference. 

But the smothered fires of vengeance in the bosoms of 
the Iroquois warriors could not long be restrained. An 
army of fifteen hundred men was raised so quietly that even 
the English knew nothing of it, and on the night between 
the 4th and 5th of August, 1689, in the midst of a fiirious 
hail-storm, they passed over the river, and landed at La 
Chine, La Salle's old colony, and at once commenced the 
horrid work of butchering the inhabitants and destroying 
everything on the island outside the strong fortifications. 
It was the most frightful massacre recorded in the history 
of Canada. Nearly the entire island was pillaged and its 
property destroyed. After staying a long time without 
being molested seriously, the savages departed, carrying 
more than a hundred prisoners, destined to torture and 
death, and leaving the charred remains of several hundred 
more among the smoking ruins. Terribly- had the Iroquois 
been avenged. 


Late in the autumn of 1689, Count Frontenac, who had 
been appointed to succeed Denonville, arrived in Canada, 
and found the country in terror and alarm at the fearful 
raid of the Iroquois. 

The upper lake tribes were on the point of abandoning 
the French' and going over to the English and the Iroquois, 
and the country was in the utmost peril. 

But the vigorous steps taken by Frontenac changed the 
aspect of affairs. He sent a strong party to the aid of 
Michilimackinac, and in February, 109(1, three war-parties 
made attacks on Schenectady, in New York, Salmon Falls, 
in New Hampshire, and Pemmaquid, in Maine, all of which 
were captured and destroyed. 

In the summer of 1690, the English colonies planned 
two great expeditions against Canada. One, a naval expe- 
dition, under Sir William Phips, governor of Massachusetts, 
against Quebec, and the other a land expedition, under Win- 

■ Parkuian. 

f Parkraan. 



throp, to proceed, by way of Albany and Lake Champlain, 
against Montreal. Botli expeditions were failures ; the one 
against Quebec because of Frontenac's ample preparations, 
and the other through dissensions among the leaders. 

During these years of strife and bloodshed it is quite 
probable that raiding-parties often passed through Jeiferson 
County, and many a weary prisoner has slept on the banks 
of Black river, or been barbarously tortured to death beneath 
the forest shades along its banks. 

In 1696, Prontenac resolved on another expedition 
against the Iroquois, and as a preparatory step he repaired 
and reoccupied Fort Frontenac, which had been abandoned 
by his predecessor. This done, he mustered a force of about 
twenty-two hundred men, French, Canadians, and Indians, 
and moved up the river from Montreal on the 4th of July. 
He reached Frontenac on the 19th, and on the 26th crossed 
his army over Lake Ontario. The account does not state 
whether the force landed in Jeiferson County, but it is at 
least probable, as they crossed the lake in bateaux and In- 
dian canoes, and were two days in reaching the mouth of 
the Onondaga or Oswego river, and it is not likely that they 
were on the open lake through the night. 

The probabilities favor the supposition that the flotilla, 
leaving Frontenac in the morning, made the Gralloo islands 
or some point, perhaps (^Poiiite de la Traverse), on the 
mainland in or near Hungry bay, where they landed and 
camped overnight. 

This great expedition was partially successful, in that it 
reached and took possession of the Iroquois capital at Onon- 
daga, south of the present city of Syracuse, and a detach- 
ment under the Marquis de Vaudreuil, of seven hundred 
men, captured and destroyed the Oneida towns. The army 
also destroyed all the growing crops, and laid a large tract 
of the country waste ; but the main bodies of the warriors, 
with their families and eifects, retreated into the forests to 
the south. 

Returning from this expedition, the army undoubtedly 
camped again in Jefferson County, as on the advance. 

In 1697 the treaty of Ryswick was signed between the 
English and French, and for a time the forest warfare ceased 
in the New World between the colonies of the respective 

Count Frontenac died at Quebec, November 28, 1698, 
at the age of seventy-eight. He was no doubt one of the 
ablest of the long line of noblemen whom France sent to 
govern Canada. 

De CoUiSres succeeded Frontenac as governor, and in 
1701 made a formal treaty with all the Indian nations at 
Montreal, at which figured conspicuously the celebrated 
Captain Joncaire and Koiidiaronk, or the Rat, the great chief 
of the Ilnrons, the latter of whom died in the night, after 
having made a great speech to the assembled multitudes. 

From this date the Iroquois seem to have gradually be- 
come less formidable both to the French and the contiguous 
Indian nations ; and their importance gradually lessened 
until the great expedition by General Sullivan, in 1779, com- 
pletely humbled them and reduced them to final submission. 

The following extracts from a letter written by Father 
Charlevoix, a prominent Jesuit, to the Duchess de Lesdi- 
guiros, while on a voyage from Frontenac across Luke On- 

tario, are interesting, as showing what knowledge Europeans 
then had of this region :* 

"Bay of Famine, 16t,h May, 1721. 

" Madame, — Here am I, detained by a contrary wind, 
which may continue a long time, and keep me more than a 
day, in one of the worst places in the world. I therefore 
attempt to keep off ennui by writing to you. There are 
passing here constantly great armies of pigeons, which we 
name turtles ; if one of them would take charge of my 
letters you might know perhaps the news, before I can get 
away ; but the savages have no aversion to dressing these 
birds for food, as do the Arabs and many other people. 

" I embarked on the 14th, at precisely the same hour 
that I had arrived at the town of Catarocoui. I had but 
six leagues to go to reach the Isle anx Chevreuils, where 
there is a fine port, which can receive large barques ; but 
my Canadians had not visited their canoe, of which the 
sun had melted the pitch in many places, so that it let-in 
water at all points, and we were compelled to lose nearly 
two hours for repairs, in one of the islands at the outlet of 
Lake Ontario. We sailed thence at ten o'clock in the 
morning, without being able to reach Isle aux Chewettils, 
and were forced to spend the night very unpleasantly. 

" I noticed here, for the first time, the vines in the woods. 
There are also small lizards, that climb to the tops of the 
trees. I have not made this remark because they are only 
observed in these places, for I am told they occur as far as 

" The vines have a very large stock, and bear many 
grapes ; but the berries are very small, not much larger 
than a pea, and for this reason it is not worth cultivatino'. 
When ripe they are eaten by the bears, who seek them on 
the highest trees. As for the birds, they would soon per- 
form the vintage of the whole forest. 

" I left yesterday at an early hour, and at eleven in the 
morning stopped at the Galloo Islands, three leagues from 
Deer Island, in forty-three and a half degrees of latitude. I 
re-embarked a little after noon, and accomplished a voyage 
of a league and a half, to reach Fointe de la Traverse. If 
I had coasted along the mainland to this place, from where 
I passed the night, I should have had more than forty 
leagues to make, and should have been obliged to take this 
course had not the lake been calm ; for when it is agitated 
the waves are as great as on the open sea. It is not even 
possible to coast along when the wind is blowing off shore. 
From the point of Galloo Islands we can see to the westf 
the river Chougnen, otherwise called the river Onontague, 
which is distant fourteen leagues. 

" As the lake was tranquil, with no appearance of foul 
weather, and a gentle breeze from the east was blowing, 
that barely filled our sail, I resolved to steer direct for this 
nver, with the view of saving fifteen or twenty leagues of 
circuit. My attendants, more experienced than I, deemed 
the attempt hazardous, but from complaisance yielded to 
my advice. 

« Translated from the French by Dr. F. B. Ili.ngh, I863 
t Evidently the rcyerend father had lost his hearino-'s, because 
from Point Traverse the Oiwndmja river bears southwest by south, 

carry one 

and distant about thirty miles. A direct west line would 

nearly the whole length of the lake. 



" The beauty of the country, which was passing on my 
left, did not tempt me any more than the salmon and quan- 
tities of other excellent fish which they take in six fine 
rivers, which are two or three leagues from one another. 
We steered ofi', then, large, and in four hours found our- 
selves in a place we repented, for the wind arose suddenly, 
and we heartily wished ourselves near the shore. We 
turned towards the nearest, from which we were still three 
leagues distant, and had much difficulty in reaching it. At 
length, at seven o'clock in the evening, we landed in the 
Bay of Famine, thus named from the Marquis de la Barre, 
the governor-general of New France, nearly losing all his 
army by hunger and sickness in going to war with the 

'' It was high time that we landed, for the wind was very 
strong, and the waves so great, that we should not have 
dared to pass the S(5ine in Paris, opposite the Louvre, at 
such a time. In short, this place is very proper to destroy 
an army, which could only depend upon the chase and upon 
fishing for subsistence ; besides which the air appears very 
unwholesome. But nothing is finer than the forests, which 
cover all the shores of the lake. 

" The white- and red-oaks tower almost to the clouds. 
There is also a tree of the largest class, of which the wood 
is hard but brittle, much resembling that of the palm-tree, 
and of which the leaves have five angles of the ordi- 
nary size, of a fine green above and whitish beneath. 
They give it the name of Gutoimier,* because, in a little 
case not larger than an India chestnut, there is a kind of 
cotton, but which is good for nothing. 

" In walking upon the shore of the lake, I noticed that it 
has sensibly receded here. It is noticed that in the space 
of half a league in breadth, the land is much more low and 
sandy than beyond. I have also noticed in this lake, and 
they assure me the same occurs in all the others, almost 
continually a kind of ebb and flow. The rocks which are 
near the bank are covered and exposed several time.s within 
a quarter of an hour, although the surface of the lake is 
very calm, and there is no wind. After some reflection, I 
imagined that this must come from springs, which exist at 
the bottom of the lake, and from the shock of currents of 
rivers which enter from all sides and which cause the 
intermittent movements. 

" But, can you believe, madame, that at this season, and 
at the forty-third degree of latitude, there are still no leaves 
on the trees, although we sometimes have as much heat as 
you have in July ? This, doubtless, is because the earth 
has been covered with snow for many months, and has not 
yet been sufficiently warmed to open the pores of the roots 
and cause the sap to rise. As for the rest, the Great and 
Little Famine scarcely deserve the name of rivers ; they are 
mere brooks, especially the latter, yet they abound in fish. 
There are here eagles of prodigious size. My people de- 
stroyed the nest of one that made a cart-load of sticks, and 
had two young unfledged eagles, which were as large as the 
largest turkey-hens. They ate them and found them very 
good. ... 

" I returned to Catarocoui, where, the night that I spent 

* Evidently the Platamis Oacidentalis^ or sycamore. 

there, I was a witness to a very curious spectacle. About 
ten o'clock at night, as I was about to retire, I heard a cry, 
which, they told me, was the war-cry, and soon after I saw 
a band of Missisagues enter the fort, singing. For some 
years these savages have been constantly engaged in the war 
which the Iroquois have carried on with the Cherolcees, a 
numerous people who inhabit a fine country south of Lake 
Erie, and from that time their young men have had an 
uncontrollable itching for war. 

" Three or four of these braves, equipped as if for a mas- 
querade, with faces painted so as to inspire horror, and fol- 
lowed by all the savages who dwell around the fort, after 
having gone through all the cabins, singing their war- songs 
to the sound of Chielcikoe (a kind of gourd, containing little 
pebbles), came to do the same thing in the apartments of 
the fort, in honor of the commandant and the officers. 

" I acknowledge to you, madame, that this ceremony has 
in it something that inspires horror, when seen for the first 
time, and I have never before felt so sensibly as then that 
I was among barbarians. 

" Their songs are always dismal, and gloomy, but here 
they were to the last degree horrid, occasioned perhaps only 
by the darkness of night and the apparatus of their festival, 
for such it is with the Indians. This invitation was to the 
Iroquois, who, finding the war with the Cherolcees becoming 
tedious, required deliberation, and every one returned 

" It seems, madame, that in these songs they invoke the 
god of war, whom the Emons call ' Areskoui,' and the 
Iroquois ' Agreskoue.' I do not know what name the 
Algonqvins give him ; but it is not a little remarkable that 
the Greek word Apyji; {Ares), which is Mars, and the god 
of war in all those countries which follow the theology of 
Homer, should be the root from whence several terms which 
relate to war in the Huron and Iroquois languages seem to 
be derived. Aregouen signifies to make war, and is thus 
conjugated : Jarego, I make war ; Sarego, you make war ; 
Arego, he makes war. Moreover, Areskoui is not only the 
Mars of these people, he is also the sovereign of the gods, 
or, as they say, of the Great Spirit, the creator and master 
of the world, the genius who governs all things. But it is 
principally in military expeditions that they invoke him, as 
if the attribute that does him most honor was that of the 
god of armies. His name is the war-cry before combat 
and in the heat of engagement ; in marching they often 
repeat it, as if for mutual encouragement and to implore 
his assistance." 


This island, in a historical point of view, is probably the 
most interesting locality in the county. The date of its first 
occupation is uncertain. Its superficial area is about thir- 
teen hundred acres, and its extreme length a little less than 
three miles. It was originally covered with timber, but a 
large portion of it is now cleared and tilled. The surface 
is gently undulating and the soil very fertile. 

The rock formation, like that of all this region, is 
Trenton limestone. The highest points are from fifty to 
sixty feet above the river, and the rock escarpment along 
the water is in many places perpendicular. At the head of 



the island are two beautiful land-looked bays or coves, with 
a depth of water sufficient to accommodate large vessels : 
and beyond is a low peninsula occupied by a farm-house 
and garden, and on the extreme northern point of the pen- 
insula is an acre of land, with boat-houses, club-house, etc., 
belonging to a company of young men from some of the 
cities of central New York, who make the place a favorite 
resort during the summer months. Apples, pears, and 
other fruits common to this region flourish luxuriantly. 

The great point of interest is the ancient fortification on 
the high blufi^ overlooking the river, and which, at the 
time of its completion, was a first-class work. It is probable 
that the French occupied the island at a very early date, 
perhaps as early as 1673, the date of the erection of Fort 
Cataraqai at Kingston ; and they no doubt erected works 
to protect the harbor. 

At the time of Charlevoix's visit to Canada, in 1721, it 
is spoken of as a point of some importance under the name 
of Me aux Clievreuih, or Deer island, though the Jesuit's 

over the waters of the north bay. In addition to this 
natural defense there was an artificial wall of stone, and 
most probably a stockade along the brow, though the latter 
is entirely gone and the former in ruins. Excavations at 
the base of the first shoulder of the cliff would seem to 
indicate magazines or store-rooms, though the main maga- 
zine was located a little north of the centre of the work. 
The length of the gorge-wall is about eight hundred feet. 
The front, looking towards the mainland of the island, was 
defended by a somewhat irregular line of earthworks, with 
a solid parapet, having three unequal faces, with a strong 
bastion on each face, calculated for four guns, and there 
were guns mounted at intervals between the bastions. The 
ditch was excavated by blasting, or otherwise, through the 
rock to a depth of six feet, and having a general width of 
about twenty feet, though opposite the re-entrant angles of 
the bastions it was about double that width. 

A zigzag wall, built of stone taken from the ditch, ran 
along the front parallel to and distant from the outer wall 


//dRTH JfAffBOlf 

Jotter, given on another page, is so ambiguous in its geog- 
raphy that it is difiicult to determine whether he refers to 
this island or the one now known as Grenadier island. 
The great fortification was most probably constructed by 
the English at some period subsequent to the destruction 
of Fort Frontenac by Colonel Bradstreet in 1758, as there 
is no .special mention made of any important works here in 
the French archives. General Amherst constracted the 
heavy works at Crown Point, on Luke Champlain, in 1759 
-60, and as this is a similar work, it may have been built 
about the same time. It is barely possible that it dates 
only to the commencement of the Ameiican Revolution, 
but the probabilities are that it is much older. 

It stands immediately on the brow of the high blufi' 
overlooking the little peninsula and the two harbors below, 
and effectually commands both the channels of the St. 
Lawrence lying south of Wolf island. The gorge, or rear 
wall, was mostly formed by the high cliff at its base, which, 
for about one-half its length, hangs nearly perpendicular 

of the ditch about thirty feet, and the glacis was formed of 
the dihris of the ditch filled in beyond, making the approach 
of an enemy exceedingly difiicult; the whole glacis and 
ditch being under direct fire from the guns of the parapet. 
The scarp and counterscarp were perpendicular. The quar- 
ters appear to have been built along three sides of a paral- 
lelogram, and a low wall of loose stone inclosed the space 
between on the south and east sides of the quadrangle. 
Originally there were about fifteen buildings within the 
work, as indicated by the immense chimneys, seven only of 
which remain standing. These chimneys were very solidly 
constructed of hammered stone, and were about six feet 
square at the base and twenty feet high. Most if not all 
the chimneys were constructed with two fire-places, on 
opposite faces, and double flues. 

An immense well; ten feet in diameter and sunk to a 
level with the water, was blasted in the rock a few feet 
from the gorge-wall. It is at this time fille(j ^-^^^ rubbish 
to within twenty-five or thirty feet of the top tu 



two main sallyports or gateways, one near each extremity, 
on the north and south, and connecting with roads leading 
down to the landing ; the road on the south being a well- 
constructed one with an easy grade, running idiagonally 
down the steep bluff to the isthmus connecting the penin- 
sula with the main body of the island ; the other running 
down the northern slope of the hill to a little plain below, 
where were probably store-houses and temporary barracks. 
The lime-kiln used in manufacturing the lime with which 
the chimneys were constructed was on this plain near the 
water's edge. The fort, including the ditch, probably 
covered an area of from eight to ten acres, and could 
accommodate a garrison of five hundred men. 

It was according to the system of Vauban, and must 
have cost an immense sum. 

The cemetery was on the plain east of the works, but 
very little remains of the headstones at the present day. 

The relics found in and around the works consist of but- 
tons, coins, tomahawks, flints, etc. ; all indicate an English 
or French origin. Mr. Horr, of Cape Vincent, has in his 
possession a fine specimen of a tomahawk found in or near 
■ the fort. 

The island and fortification were no doubt occupied by 
the English during the Revolutionary war, and as late as 
1799 a detachment from the Kingston garrison was sta- 
tioned here. 

On the breaking out of the War of 1812 the island was 
captured by Abner Hubbard, a Revolutionary soldier, who, 
with a man and boy to help him, took possession of the 
works, which were held by three invalid men and two 
women. The stores were soon after removed to the main- 
land, and the buildings burned. The works were never 
repaired or occupied by the United States Government. 

The following extract from Dr. Hough's " History of Jef- 
ferson County" would indicate that the French were at least 
making preparations to erect strong works upon this island 
in the fall of 1758, but were probably prevented from car- 
rying out the design by the virtual surrender of Canada in 
the following year: 

" A manuscript is preserved among the Paris documents 
in the archives of the State at Albany that throws some 
li'>-ht upon the subject, if it does not solve the mystery en- 
tirely. From this it appears that, in November, 1758, the 
Marquis de Vaudreuil, governor of Canada, had drawn up 
a paper on the defenses of that country, which was then at 
war with the English, that was submitted to the Marquis 
de Montcalm for his revision, and met with his entire ap- 
proval. He proposed to send fifteen hundred men to de- 
fe)id the approaches of Canada on the side of Lake Ontario, 
by the erection of a post to be selected at the head of the 
St. Lawrence, and laid out after the plans of M. de Font- 
leroy, who was to be sent for that purpose. The station thus 
chosen and fortified would at the same time become the 
head of the frontier, and entrepot for every military opera- 
tion in that quarter, instead of Frontenac or the bay of 
Kiahome, which can never be regarded as such^ as the Eng- 
lish might enter the St. Lawrence without exposing them- 
selves or giving any knowledge of their passage. He pro- 
posed to build xchecs instead of barks, as better fitted for 
the navigation of the lake and the transportation of sup- 

plies. The place was to be made susceptible of defense by 
an army, and to have magazines for stores and barracks for 
the lodgment of troops in the winter. A quantity of sup- 
plies was to be sent to L<i Fresentation* consisting of tools 
and implements of all kinds necessary to be used against 
Oswego or in the erection of the works. Levasseur and 
Pellegrin, experienced shipwrights, were to be sent up from 
Quebec to advise upon all the details connected with the 
plan of establishing upon the lake an adequate system of 
defense. Canada presented at that time three frontiers, — 
the St. Lawrence, from the Atlantic, Lake Champlain, and 
the west, — ^each of which claimed a share of attention. It 
was intended that the proposed work should be adequate, 
with those lower down, for the defense of the latter, and it 
was designed to put in command an active, disinterested, 
and capable man to accelerate the work and render the op- 
erations complete. Such a man the Chevalier de Lery was 
considered to be, and he was accordingly named as the per- 
son to have chief command and direction of the work." 

There is no documentary evidence that this arrangement 
was carried out; but for the fall of Quebec and the collapse 
of the French power in America there is little doubt but 
the plan herein outlined would have been carried to a suc- 
cessful conclusion. It is not altogether improbable that 
the ground-plan was laid out and work commenced, and 
afterwards adopted and completed by the English. 

The following extract from a work entitled " M^moires 
sur le Canada" shows that the French had a fortified post 
at or near the mouth of Sandy creek towards the last of 
the war of 1755-60: 

" Meanwhile M. de Vaudreuil, not content with having 
destroyed the munitions of the enemy and disconcerting 
their projects upon the lake and their upper outposts, re- 
solved to capture Chovguen,] to the end that the colony 
might be tranquillized on this side and himself left easy on 
the defensive until succors might arrive from France. He 
sent in this direction a detachment of eight hundred men, 
to hold the enemy in check and watch their movements, 
under the command of Sieur de Villiers, captain of the 
marine, and brother of M. de Jumonville. This officer 
was brave and prudent, capable of executing the most per- 
ilous enterprise, and had always given proof of courage. 
He took possession near a river named Aux Sables, where 
he built a small fort of upright stakes on a point where 
the river falls into Lake Ontario. The approach was diffi- 
cult, and concealed from view by bushes, which surrounded 
it, so that one could see but a short distance when on foot. 
He often appeared before the enemy, pillaged their muni- 
tions, and compelled them to take the greatest precaution 
in sending to Chouguen their provisions and troops."J 

In July, 1758, General Abercrombie made his unsuc- 
cessful attack, with an army of sixteen thousand men, upon 
Ticonderoga, which was defended by the JMarquis de Mont- 
calm. After the withdrawal of the army. Colonel Brad- 
street was detached, at his own request, with a force of 
about three thousand men, to attempt the capture of Fort 

* Ogdensburg. t * 

X In August, 1756, Montcalm had a rendezeons or post on Hender- 
son bay, previously established by De Villiers ; here were the maga- 
zines of supplies for the expedition against Oswego. 



Frontenac, in which he was eminently successful, the place 
being held only by a small garrison, and a great quantity 
of stores and ammunition, heavy guns and small arms, and 
nine armed vessels on the lake fell into the hands of the 
victors, who destroyed the works erected by Frontenac and 
La Salle, and rejoined the main army, with very little loss. 
Whether he passed by water from Oswego or marched by 
land to Cape Vincent does not appear, but he probably fol- 
lowed the former route. Nothing of importance in the 
history of the county subsequently transpired until the 
French settlement in 1794. 



The Oneida Territory — Treaty with the Oneidas— Peter Penet— Ma- 
comb's Purchase — Deeds, Transfers,, and Sales — The Ch.issanis 
Purchase— Chassanis Tract Surveys — French Settlement — Great 
Tract No. IV. — The Antwerp Company's Purchase— Purchase of 
Count Survilliers — Joseph Bonaparte — Lauds South of Black River 
—Wright's Remarlcs on the Eleven Towns— Title of the Islands. 

In Dr. Hough's excellent history of this county, pub- 
lished in 1854, there is an exhaustive article upon the 
various land titles connected with the northern portion of 
New York, and as it is entirely authentic, having been com- 
piled from official documents, we reproduce it, with the 
doctor's revision and annotations to the present time : 

From time immemorial down to a few years after the 
close of the Revolution the title of lands in this section of 
the State was shared in doubtful supremacy by savages and 
other denizens of the forest. At the earliest period of 
authentic history the Iroquois confederacy, and the Oneida 
nation in particular, were acknowledged to be the owners of 
the greater portion of our territory, which, according to 
Gautinonty, a chief of the Oswegatchie tribe, extended as 
far north as a line running' from the mouth of French creek 
to Split rock, on Lake Champiain, while the Oswrgatchies 
claimed the land north as far down the St. Lawrence as Cat 
i.sland (Louisville), where a monument had been erected by 
Sir John Johnson.* The Oneidas, according to a map and 
survey by Arent Marselis, at the request of John Duncan, 
and by order of the surveyor-general, claimed "from the 
' Line of Propeity' reversed, and continued from the Canada 
creek till it comes to a certain mountain called Esoiade, or 
the Ice mountain, under which mountain that Canada creek, 
opposite to the old Fort Hendrick, heads; from thence run- 
ning westerly to an old fort which stood on the creek, called 
Weteriiighra Guentere, and which empties into the river 
St. Lawrence about twelve miles below Carlton or Buck's 
island, and which fort the Oneidas took from their eneUiies 
a long time ago ; from thence running southerly to a rift 
upon the Onondaga river, called Ogouteuagca, or Agnegon- 
teneai/ea (a place remarkable for eels), about five miles from 
where the river empties out of the Oneida lake.""]- Marselis 

® Special message of Governor Lewis, Assem. Journal, 1801-6, p. 
49. The relative claims of the different tribes to this tract are set 
forth in this message. 

t The original survey bill and map are filed in the State engineer's 

was doubtless the first surveyor in the county, and there is 
preserved a traverse of Hungry bay made by him in Sep- 
tember, 1789, which began " at a monumenf or red-painted 
post set up by the Indians as a division-line between the 
Onondaga and Oneida nation ;" from which it would seem 
that the former claimed some right on the eastern shore of 
Lake Ontario. 

To extinguish these claims a treaty was held at Fort 
Stanwix, October 22, 1784, with the Six Nations, by which 
•all the country east of a line drawn from Johnson's landing- 
place on the Lake Ontario, and keeping foi^r miles east of 
the carrying-path between that lake and Lake Erie to the 
mouth of Tehoseroroti, or Buffalo creek, and thence south 
to the north line of Pennsylvania, and down the Ohio, was 
ceded to the United States. The Oneidas were represented 
at this treaty by two chiefs. This tribe, by a definite treaty 
held in September, 1788, conveyed the greater part of their 
lands to the State by the following instrument, the original 
of which is preserved in the secretary's office ; it is on a 
sheet of parchment about two feet square, with thirty-five, 
seals of the parties, and appended to it is a string of wam- 
pum, made of six rows of cylindrical white and blue beads, 
strung upon deer-skin cords. This belt is about two inches 
wide and nearly two feet long. 

"At a treaty held at Fort Schuyler, formerly called Fort Stanwix, 
in the State of New York, by His E.'icellency George Clinton, governor 
of the said State, and William Floyd, Ezra L'Hommedieu, Richard 
Variek, Samuel Jones, Egbert Benson, and Peter Gansevoort, Junior 
(commissioners, authorized for that purpose by and on behalf of the 
people of the State of New York), with the tribe or nation of Indians 
called the OtieiduB. It is on the 22d day of September, 1788, cove- 
nanted and concluded as follows : Fii-st, the Oiieidan do cede and 
grant all their lands to the people of the State of Xew York forever. 
Secondly, of the Said ceded lands, the following tract, to wit: Begin- 
ning at the Wood creek, opposite to the mouth of the Canada creek, 
and where the line of property comes to the said Wood creek, and 
runs thence southerly to the northwest corner of the tract, to bo 
granted to John Francis Pearche, thence along the westerly bounds 
of the said tract to the southwest corner thereof, thence to the north- 
west corner of the tract granted to James Dean, thence along the 
westerly bounds thereof to the southwest corner of the last- mentioned 
tract, thence due south until it intersects a due west line from the 
head of the Tienadaha, or Unadilla river, thence from the said point 
of intersection due west until the Deep Spring bears due north, 
thence duo north to the Deep Spring, thence the nearest course to 
the Canescrage creek, and thence along the said creek, the Oneida 
lake, and the Wood creek to the place of beginning, shall be reserved 
for the following uses, that is to say : The lands lying to the north- 
ward of a line parallel to the southern line of the said reserved binds, 
and four miles distant from the said southern line, the Oneidnn shall 
hold to themselves and their posterity forever, for their own use and 
cultivation, but not to be sold, leased, or in any other manner aliened 
or disposed of to others. The Oiieklaa may from time to time for- 
ever make leases of the lands between the said parallel line (being 
the residue of the said reserved lands) to such persons, and on such 
rents reserved, as they shall deem proper; but no lease for a. 
longer term than twenty-one years from the making thereof, and no 
new lease shall be made until the former lease of the same lands shall 
have expired. The rents shall be to the use of the Oiiekinn and their 
posterity forever. And the people of the State of New Y'ork shall, 
from time to time, make provision by law to compel the leasees to pay 
the rent, and \n every other respect enable the Oneidas and their pos- 
terity to have the full benefit of their right so to make leases, and to 
prevent frauds on them respecting the same. And the Oiieidua, and 
their posterity forever, shall enjoy the free right of hunting in every 
part of the said ceded lands, and of fishing in all the waters within 
the same, and especially there shall forever remain uno-ranted by the 



people of the Stato of New York one-half mile square at the distance 
of every six miles of the lands along the northei'n bounds of the 
Oneida lake, one-half mile in breadth of the lands on each side of 
Fish creek,* and a convenient piece of land at the fishing place in 
the Onondaga river, about three railes from whore it issues out of the 
Oneida lake, and to remain as well for the Oneidaa and their poster- 
ity as for the inhabitants of said State to land and encamp on; but, 
notwithstanding any reservation to the Oneidaa, the people of the 
State may erect public works and edifices as they shall think proper 
at such place or places, at or near the confluence of Wood creek and 
the Oneida lake, as they shall elect, and may take or appropriate for 
such works or buildings lands to the extent of one square mile at 
each place. And further, notwithstanding any reservation of lands 
to the Oneidaa for their own use, the New England Indians (now set- 
tled "at Brotherton, under the Reverend Samson Oeeum), and their 
posterity forever, and the Stockbridge Indians, and their posterity 
forever, and to enjoy the settlements on the lands heretofore given 
to them by the Oneidaa for that purpose, — that is to say, a tract of 
two miles in breadth and three miles in length for the New England 
Indians, and a tract of six miles square for the Stockbridge Indians. 
Thirdly, in consideration of the said cession and grant, the people of 
the State of New York do at this treaty pay to the Oneidaa two thou- 
sand dollars in money, two thousand dollars in clothing and other 
goods, and one thousand dollars in provisions, and also five hundi-ed 
dollars in money, to be paid towards building a grist-mill and a saw- 
mill at their village (the receipts of which moneys, clothing, goods, and 
provisions the Oneidaa do now acknowledge) ; and the people of the 
State of New York shall annually pay to the Oneidaa, and their posterity 
forever,«n the first day of June in every year, at Fort Schuyler, afore- 
said, six hundred dollars in silver; but, if the Oneidas or their pos- 
terity shall at any time hereafter elect that the whole or any part of 
the said six hundred dollars shall be paid in clothing or provisions, 
and give six weeks' previous notice thereof to the governor of the said 
State for the time being, then so much of the annual payment shall 
for that tinie bo in clothing or provisions as the Oiieidat and their 
posterity shall elect, and at the price which the same shall cost the 
pedple of the State of New York at Fort Schuyler, aforesaid j and as 
a further consideration to the Oneidaa, the people of the State of New 
York shall grant to the said John Francis Pcarche a tract of land: 
Beginning in the line of property, at a certain cedar-tree, near the 
road leading to Oneida, and runs from the said cedar-ti'ee southerly 
along the line of property two miles ; then westerly at right angles to 
the said line of property two miles ; then northerly at right angles to 
the last course two miles; and thence to the place of beginning ; which 
the said John Francis Pearche hath consented to accept from the 
Oneidaa in satisfaction for an injury done to him by one of their 
nation. And, further, the lands intended by the Oneidaa for John T. 
Kirkland and for George W. Kirkland being now appropriated td 
the use of the Oneidaa, the people of the State of New York shall 
therefore, by a grant of other lands, make compensation to the said 
John T. Kirkland and G-eorge W. Kirkland. And, further, that the 
people of the State of New York shall, as a benevolence from the 
Oneidaa to Peter Penet, and ill return for services rendered by him 
to their nation, grant to the same Peter Penct, of the said ceded lands, 
lying to the northward of the Oneida lake, a tract of land ten miles 
square, wherever he shall elect the same. Fourthly, the people of the 
State of New York may, in such manner as they shall deem proper, 
prevent any person, except the Oneidaa, from residing or settling on 
the land so to be held by the Oneidaa and their posterity for their 
own use and cultivation; and if any person shall^ without the con- 
sent of the people of the State of New York, come to reside or settle 
on the said lands or on any other of the lands so ceded as aforesaid, 
except the lands whereof the Oneidaa jn^y make leases, as aforesaid, the 
Oi eidaa and their posterity shall forthwith give notice of such intru- 
sions to the governor of the said State for the time being. And, 
further, the Oneidaa and their posterity forever shall, at the request 
of the governor of the said State, be aiding to the people of the State 
of New York in the removing of all such intruders, and in appre- 

* This reservation gave rise to many appi*ehensions on the part of 
the purchasers, as it was supposed to extend Into the Boylston tract, 
in Lewis county. The author is not aware how this affair was set- 
tled. The reservation would, it is said, have covered forty thousand 
acres, if it extended to the source of that streaoi. The patent to 
Micomb made no reservations in this point, so that the difficulty lay 
between the State and the Indians. 

bending not only such intruders, but also felons and all other offend- 
ers, who may happen to be on the said ceded land, to the end that 
such intruders, felons', and other offenders may be brought to justice. 

"In testimony whereof, as well the sachems, chief warriors, and 
others of the said Oneidaa, in behalf of their tribe, or nation, as the 
said governor and other commissioners of the people of the State of 
New York, have hereunto interchangeably set their hands and affixed 
their seals, the day and year first above written. 

Odagiiskohte, Kanagiiweaga, Petrii Utsiquettk, Toyohag- 
iVEANDA, SiioxoDGHLEGO, aliaa Anthony, Thaghniyongo; Tekeand- 
YAiiKON, Otsetogou, Oneyanha, aliaa Beech-Tree, Thagiitagh- 


QUARRY, Thaghneghtolis, aliaa Hendriuk, Kanaghsalilgh, Thagh- 
swEANGALOLis, alias Paulus, Agwelentongwas, alias DOMINE 
PKTEit, Kahiektotan; Teyoughnihalk, Konwagalot Jonegii- 
FMSHEA, aliaa Dancel, Alawistonis, alina Blacksmith, Sagoyontha, 
Kaskonghguea, Kanawgalbt, Thaniyeandagayon, Keanyoko, 
aliaa David, Hannah Sodolk, Hononwayele. 

"George Clinton, Ricn'n Varick, Peter Gansevoobt, Jr., Wm. 
Floyd, Sasiuel Jones, Skenondonga, Ezra L'Hommedieu, Egbert 

At a treaty held at Kon-on-daigua, New York, Novem- 
ber 11, 1794, the United States confirmed this treaty of 
the Oneidas. 


In this connection we give a short account of the opera- 
tions of Peter Penet at various periods, which, among other 
matters, explains how the Oneidas came to present him the 
ten miles square reservation in Jefferson County, and also 
gives the reader considerable insight into the character of 
the adventurer : 

The history of our Indian tribes is diversified by many plans and 
projects in which schemes of ambition and profit were disguised 
under the plausible appearance of measures for the public good. The 
ignorance and credulity of the aboriginal race, vain of personal orna- 
ment, easily won by presents, and grateful for favors, presented an 
inviting opportunity for crafty and selfish men. The early and 
ea- nest competition of the French and English co-lonists for the trade 
and friendship of the natives of North America should have made 
them quite familiar with these artifices; yet we find long afterwards, 
and among a tribe that had for nearly two centuries been familiar 
with Europeans, u. successful attempt at imposition by a plausible 
stranger for purposes of gain or ambition. We refer to the schemes 
of Peter Penet, a Frenchman, among the Oneidaa soon after the close 
of the Revolution. 

Peter Penet, a. merchant of Nantes, France, appears to have first 
arrived in America, December 10, 1775. He came with his partner, 
De Plaisne, from Cape Frangois, having letters and credentials of 
character, and proposed to undertake to supply arms and munitions 
to the colonies or to congress through their business connections in 
France. Having received orders for a large number of cannon and 
small arms, Mr. Penet left America in March, 1776, for France. He 
was intrusted with letters to our agents abroad. He returned to 
Philadelphia without fulfilling his contract. 

About two years later we find Mr. Penet petitioning congress for 
encouragement in the establishment of an armory; and January 2, 
1779, the committee to whom the petition of Messrs. Penet and Cou- 
loux proposing to establish a manufactory of firearms had been 
referred made a favorable report. 

They proposed to contract for one hundred thousand muskets and 
bayonets, at twenty-six and u. half livres each in specie, of which 
twenty thousand were to be delivered in two and a half years, and 
the rest in seven years. This arrangement was never carried into 
effect, probably from the inability of Penet to meet his part of the 
engagement. Penet is next heard from operating upon the confi- 
dence of the governors of New York and Pennsylvania, by offering 
for sale some new discoveries, — a cheap metal for sheathing ships and 
a mastic for preserving iron from rust, — hut in neither instance did 
he succeed in his negotiation. 

f Kindly furnished by Dr. Hough. 



At about this period Pcnet was employed by the State of Virginia 
to borrow money in France. We have met with no statement of the 
success of this effort. The next trace we find of this adventurer is in 
1783, when his name appears in the Albany county clerk's office 
records as a purchaser of " a certain messuage and lot (in his actual 
possession now being) in the city of Schenectady." In 1787 we find 
him mentioned as a trader with the Oneidaa in their village near 
Oneida lake, and among a portion of these people he acquired a great 
ascendency. He originated a plan of government for the tribe, and, 
having established himself as chief of the tribe, he pretended upon 
one occasion to have dreamed that the Indians had given him a tract 
of land ten miles square lying upon the north shore of Oneida lake. 

Mr. Penet was one of the witnesses of the Onondaga treaty signed 
at Fort Schuyler on the 12th of September, 1788. At this treaty the 
Oiieidna agreed to cede all land north of Oneida lake and Wood 
creek, excepting certain reservations along the banks for fishing pur- 
poses, upon consideration "that the commissioners would agree to 
make a compensation to Mr. Penet out of it for his benevolence and 
services to them." The land chosen by Mr. Penet, through his attor- 
ney and agent, was located upon the St. Lawrence river at the pres- 
sent village of Clayton. The square is included in the present towns 
of Cliiyton and Orleans, and was of course excepted from the great 
sale to Macomb in 1791. The land commissioners ordered a survey 
of the tract on August 8, 1789, and a return was made in November 
of that year. Pcnet, by an instrument dated January 23, 1789, 
having made Mr. Duncan his attorney, the latter, on the IWth day of 
November of that year, received a patent for the tract. On July 13, 
1790, Duncan conveyed to James Watson and Jiimcs Greenleaf, of 
Nevv York, for the nominal sum of five shillings. We cannot hero 
trace the chain of title by which it was confirmed to actual settlers. 
The greater part, afler diverse trusts and conveyances, came into the 
hands of the late John La Farge, formerly of Havre, France, but sub- 
sequently a prominent capitalist of New York city. For many years 
after the settlement of the surrounding lands there was no resident 
agent, and at length it came to be regarded as the common property 
of whoever might choose to settle upon it. This belief attracted a 
large crowd of irresponsible squatters, who cut timber, cleared lands, 
and made potash, without regard for title other than that given 
by actual occupation. Thus arose diificulties of no common magni- 
tude in the quiet assumption of title by those holding the legal right 
to the soil. But Mr. La Farge proved equal to the occasion, and did 
not hesitate to employ the legal remedies suited to his needs, and he 
at length succeeded in compelling the settlers to acknowledge and 
jespect his title. A man less scrupulous or less artful would have 
certainly failed in his undertaking. 

Of the subsequent history of Peter Penet little is known, excepting 
that he visited the island of St. Domingo, and there represented to 
the people that he was the owner of all the land lying north of Oneida 
lake in the State of New York. He exhibited maps, upon which a 
large fortified city was represented upon the northern bank of the 
lake, and induced large numbers to invest in land. During the 
winter of 1794 several of these unfortunate persons were met by 
members of the Castorland Company in the city of New York. 
They are spoken of in the journal ke)it by that company as disheart- 
ened, and many of them so poor as to be unable to return to their 
homes. One is said to have committed suicide. 


The office of land commissioners was created in 1786, 
and they were clothed with discretionary powers in selling 
the unappropriated lands of the State. The manner in 
which they exercised this trust has been made the subject 
of severe censure. On June 22, 1791, Alexander Macomb, 
of the city of New York, acting as the agent of a company 
. said to consist of himself, Daniel McCormick, and William 
Constable, all of New York, applied for the purchase of a 
tract of land since known as Macomb's Purchase,* 

«■" Full details of this purchase, with a copy of his applications, 
may be found in the Hjstqry qf St. Lawrence and Franklin Coun- 
ties, p. 252, et teq., by Dr. IJough. 

embracing the greater part of Franklin, the whole of St 
Lawrence, excepting the " ten towns" and Massena, the 
whole of Jefferson (excepting Penet's square and Tibbet's 
point), the whole of Lewis, and a part of Oswego counties. 
This proposition included the islands in Lake Ontario and 
the St. Lawrence, fronting the tract, and excepted five per 
cent, for roads, and all lakes of greater area than one thou- 
sand acres. The proposed price was eight pence per acre. 
One-sixth part was payable in one year, and the residue in 
five equal annual installments. If one-sixth were secured 
by satisfactory bonds, and paid, and another sixth in like 
manner secured, Macomb was to receive a patent fur a sixth 
part, in a square, in one of the corners of the tract, and the 
same rule was to be observed throughout, until the whole 
was paid. Carlton, or Buck's, island and the Long Sault 
island were expressly reserved to the State. This proposi- 
tion was accepted, and the surveyor-general was directed to 
survey the tract at the expense of Macomb. On Janu- 
ary 10, 1792, he reported that the conditions had been 
complied with, and that day a patent")" was issued to 
Macomb for one million nine hundred and twenty thousand 
acres, reserving eight hundred acres to be located by the 
surveyor-general.J This included the whole of the tract 
not in the present counties of Franklin and St. Lawrence, 
an uncertainty existing in relation to the islands in the St. 
Lawrence ; these were patented after the national boundary 
had been determined, and to other parties. The reserva- 
tion stipulated to Penet was confirmed by the following 
proceedings of the land commissioners : 

" At a meeting of the commissioners of the land-office of the State 
of New York, held at the secretary's office in the city of New York 
on Saturday, the eighth day of August, 1789. Present, his Excel- 
lency George Clinton, Esq., governor; Lewis A. Scott, Esq., sccie- 
tary ; Richard Varick, Esq., attorney-general ; and Gerardus Bancker, 

" Resolved, That the surveyor-general be directed to lay out for 
Peter Penet, and at his expense, the lands ceded by the Oneida nation 
to the people of this State, by their deed of cession dated the twenty- 
second day of September last, lying to the northward of Oneida lake, 
a tract of ten miles square, wherever he shall elect the same; and 
further, that he lay out for John Francis Pearche, and at his ex- 
pense, a tract of land stipulated by the said deed of cession to be 
granted to him," etc., referring to a tract two miles square in Oneida 
county. § 

On November 19, 1789, the following action was taken: 

'■ The surveyor- general, agreeable to an order of this board of the 
8th of August last, having made a return of survey for Peter Penet, 
of a tract of ten miles square, as elected by John Duncan, his agent 
(of the lands ceded by the Oneida nation of Indians to the people of 
this State, by their deed of cession, dated the twenty-second day of 
September, 1788), lying to the northward of Oneida lake, as by the 
said return of survey filed in the secretary's office will more fully 
appear. And the said John Duncan having as agent aforesaid made 
application to the board for letters patent for the same, 

" Resolved, therefore, that the secretary do prepare letters patent to 
the said Peter Penet fur the said tract of ten miles square accord- 
ingly, and lay them before the board for their approbation."|| 

■|- Secretary Office Patents, b. 23, p. 160. 

X This was selected on Tibbet's point in Cape Vincent, at the out- 
let of the lake, which was patented to Captain John Tibbets of Troy, 
and never formed a part of Macomb's purchase. It embraced but 
six hundred acres, as surveyed by John Campbell in the fall of 

I Land Office Minutes, vol. ii. p. 56. 

II lb., p. 80. 




Peter Penet, by an instrument dated Jan. 23, 1789,* 
made John Duncan his attorney, and the latter received,- 
Nov. 19, 1789, a patentf for a tract ten miles square, 
which on July 13, 1790, he conveyed J for the nominal 
sum of five shillings to James Watson and James Green- 
leaf, of New York. Feb. 26, 1795, Watson released§ to 
Greenleaf his half of the tract for £1000 ; the latter havins, 
Sept. 4, 1797, conveyed by deed the 64,000 acres to Simon 
Desjardinesjl for £19,400.| 

Desjardines conveyed to Nicholas Olive, of New York, 
Jan. 29, 1796, and the latter to Herman Le Roy, William 
Bayard, and James McEvers, 44,000 acres of this tract, 
in trust as joint tenants for certain heirs, of whom Mallett 
Prevost was entitled to 8000 acres ; John Lewis Grenus to 
12,000 acres; Henry Finguerlin, Jr., 8000 -acres. At the 
time of this conveyance Olive held these lands in trust, and 
16,000 acres in his own right. A deed of partition be- 
tween the proprietors was executed May 17, 1802,** ac- 
cording to a division by ballot, as follows : N. Olive, 
16,000 ; J. L. Grenus, 12,000 ; H. Finguerlin, Jr., 8000; 
A. M. Pre.vost, 8000 acres, making 44,000 acres, which 
with 8000 to Louis Le Guen, and 12,000 to John Wilkes 
previously conveyed by 01ive,ff made 64,000 acres on the 
whole tract. After the deed of partition, and on June 11, 
1802, the proprietors released to one another the quantity 
allotted to each, as follows : John Wilkes and Louis Le 
Guen, to Le Roy, Bayard, and McEvers, of 44,000 acres ; 
L., B., & M., and Louis Le Guen, to John Wilkes of 12,- 
000 ; and L., B., & M., and J. Wilkes to L. Le Guen of 
8000 acres. JJ 

Nicholas Olive, in his will, made bis wife and Henry 
Cheriot his executors, and his widow afterwards married 
Simon Louis Pierre, Marquis de Cubieres, of Paris, who 
with his wife did. May 9, 1818, appoint L., B., and M. to 
convey to Provost. Grenus, and Finguerlin their several 
shares. The latter, May 20, 1817, directed L., B., and 
M. to convey to Joseph Russell and John La Farge. Le 
Roy and Bayard deeded to John Henry and Edmund 
Wilkes 16,000 acres, Sept. 23, 1818, and the latter to 
John La Forge, April 14, 1823,§§ having received May 9, 
1818, from the Marquis de Cubieres and wife, a power of 
attorneyllll for the purpose. Le Roy and Bayard conveyed 
12,000 acres Nov. 23, 1818, and to Russell and La Farge 

* See. office deeds 22, p. 277. :|: Noh recorded. 

t lb. patents 21, p. 407. f Sec. office deeds 38, p. 350. 

II Sec. office deeds 38, p. 344. 

^ The Castorland Journal of date August 30, 1794, gives the fol- 
lowing account of the origin of Desjardines' connection with this 
title : Mr. Olive and his associates having determined to purchase 
Penet Square, the purchase was made in my name, as having the 
right to hold lands, and these gentlemen promise M. Pharoux and 
myself a tenth part of the benefits for the attention that we give them 
in this business. Simon De.sjardines. 

»* Jeff. Co. deeds, rec. Dec. 14, 1824. 

ft Olive conveyed, Oct. 15, 1800, 8000 acres to Henry Cheriot (sec. 
deeds 38, p. 347), and C. to John Wilkes the same, Oct. 16, 1800 (ib. 
p. 432). 

JJ Jefferson Co. deeds, rec. June 18, 1825. 

^J Jeff, deeds, reo. June 23, 1821. 

III! Ib., rec. Oct. 23, 1818. 

8000 acres, Sept. 23, 1818.^^ Joseph Russell released his 
half of these 8000 acres Dec. 12, 1818.T^T[ John Wilkes to 
Charles Wilkes Jan. 1, 1818,*** sold 8000 acres, and the 
latter the same to La Farge, June 3, 1825.*** By these 
conveyances Mr. La Farge became the owner of the greater 
part of Penet Square ; but he allowed the lands to be sold 
for taxes, and his claims were subsequently confirmed by a 
comptroller's deed from Wm. L. Marcy, May 13, 1828. 

On Nov. 23, 1819, Francis Depau bought fifteen lots 
(21 to 25, 41 to 45, 50 to 60), for |12,000,ttt excepting 
parts sold to Samuel Ruggles. In our account of Orleans 
will be given a detail of the irregularities growing out of 
occupation without title, and the conflicting claims which 
continued many years, and produced much difficulty. 

The whole of Macomb's contract was estimated to con- 
tain, after deducting five per cent., 3,670,715 acres, and 
was divided into five tracts. Tract No. 1 contained 821,819 
acres, and is wholly in Franklin county. No. 2 embraced 
553,020 acres, or the present towns of Parishville, Colton, 
Hopkinton, Lawrence, Brasher, and a small part of Mas- 
sena, in St. Lawrence county. No. 3, the remainder of St. 
Lawrence county south and west of the ten towns, or 
458,222 acres. No. 4 contained 450,950 acres in Jeffer- 
son County, it being, with the exception of Penet's Square 
and Tibbet's Point, all of that county north of a line drawn 
from the southwest corner of St. Lawrence county, north 
87° west, to Lake Ontario. No. 5 (26,250 acres) and No. 
6 (74,400 acres) formed the rest of the purchase ; the di- 
vision line between which numbers was never surveyed. 
Soon after perfecting his title to a portion of his tract, Ma- 
comb employed William Constable (who is said to have 
been, with Daniel MeCormick, the principal proprietor) as 
his agent to sell lands in Europe; and, on June 6, 1792, 
he released, and October 3, 1792, conveyed to him the 
whole of tracts 4, 5, and 6, for £50,000. Jjj Macomb had 
become involved in speculations, by which he lost his prop- 
erty, and was lodged in jail ;§§§ and his name does not subse- 
quently appear in the transfers of land. He had been a 
fur-trader in Detroit, afterwards became a merchant and 
capitalist in New York, and was the father of the late 
General Macomb, of the war of 1812. 


The first direct measure taken for the actual settlement 
of the section of the State embraced in Jefferson County 
was in 1792. On August 31, William Constable, then in 
Europe, executed a deed to Peter Chassanis, of Paris, for 
630,000 acres south of Great Lot No. 4, which now con- 
stitutes a part of Jefferson and Lewis counties. A tract in 
Leyden, previously conveyed to Patrick Colquhoun and 
William Inman, was excepted. Chassanis acted as the 
" agent for the associated purchasers of lands in Montgom- 
ery county," and the lands were to be by him held in trust 
for the use of the said William Constable, and disposed of 
by sections of one hundred acres each, at the rate of eight 

Iflf lb. reo. Oct. 5, 1819. 

«» Jeff. Co. rec. June 18, 1825. fff Jeff. Co. deeds, N. 605. 

ttt Secretary's Office, Deeds 24, pp. 300 and 332, August 2, 1792. 
JJjJ See History of St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties, p. 242. 
Hough, 1854. 



livres Tournois* per acre ; in which said conveyance it is 
declared that the said Chassanis should account for the 
proceeds of the sales to Constable, according to the terms 
of an agreement between them, excepting one-tenth thereof 
The State reservations for roads, etc., were stipulated. A 
deed fur 625,000 acres having been made from Constable 
to Chassanis, and delivered as an escrow to Rene Lauibot, 
to take effect on the payment of £52,000, it was agreed 
that the price for this land should be one shilling per acre. 
Constable bound himself to procure a perfect title, to be 
authenticated and deposited with the Consul-General of 
France, in Philadelphia ; and Chassanis agreed that the 
moneys received by Lambot should be remitted to Ransom, 
Moreland & Hammersley, in London, as received, subject 
to Constable's order, on presenting the certificate of Charles 
Texier, consul, of his having procured a clear title. If the 
sales shall not have amounted to £62,750, the balance 
should be paid in six, nine, and twelve months, in bills 
upon London. Constable granted, for one month, the right 
of pre-emption to Tract No. 4, at the rate of one shilling 
sterling, payable in three, six, and nine months from the 
date of the deed, as above. 

The plan of the association contemplated by this com- 
pany is set forth in the following document, which we 
translate from an original copy, printed in Paris in 1792, 
in the possession of William C. Pierrepont, who has kindly 
permitted it to be used for this work. It is very probable 
that the stormy period of the French revolution that soon 
followed prevented its execution : 

" AssociATIOM/m- the purcliuae and settlement o/600,000 acres of laud 
granted hi/ the State of New York, and situated ivithin that State be- 
tween the iZd dcg. and Hth deg. of latitude^ npon Lake Ontario, and 35 
leagues front the city and port of Albany, where vessels land from 

"Many details suggested by the consideration of the internal and 
external advantages of this vast and i-ich domain, of which we have 
direct knowledge, has led to a plan of developing its resources and of 
presenting the speculation to Europeans. It is to be noticed that this 
tract presents, in its fertility, all the wealth of agriculture j by the fine 
distribution of its waters, the facilities for an extended commerce; by 
its location in the immediate vicinity of a dense population, security 
to its inhabitants ,■ and by the laws of a people independent and rich 
with their own capita], all the benefits of liberty without its drawbacks. 
These incontestable facts, developed without art and declared in a 
public notice, may be easily proved by simple inspection of the geog- 
raphy and a general acquaintance of the State of New York. Be- 
lieving that the value of this vast domain would be enhanced by the 
activity of cultivation and settlement, the proprietors have united in 
attempting the formation of a family in some way united by common 
interests and common wants, and, to promote the success of this meas- 
ure, they here offer an account of the origin and plan of their associ- 
ation. To maintain this essential unity of interests, the projectors 
have devised a plan that renders each member directly interested in 
the property, and require that a division shall be made by lot that 
ehall give at once a title to fifty acres individually, and to fifty in a 
portion that shall remain common and undivided until a fixed period ; 
and, that these subdivisions may operate in a ready and economical 
manner, they have adopted a form of certificate [forme d' Aetion'] to 
the bearer as best combining the desired features and advantages of 
being evidences of the first title of purchase and the undivided por- 
tion, and of partaking of the nature of an authentic title. In conse- 
quence, they have purchased this estate, and agreed that it should be 
done in the name of Sicur Chassanis, in whom they have united their 
confidence, and whom they have authorized to sign the certificates. 
He is to receive the funds to be credited to each as titles of property, 

» Equal to ftl.50. 

and furnish declarations to those who desire. Subsequent to the pur- 
chase, the parties interested have established the following rules, 
which shall be the common law of the holders of certificates as insep- 
arable from the title resulting. These rules are divided into two 
sections, the one including the articles essential to title, and the un- 
alterable law of the proprietors, the other embracing the provisional 
rules and regulations of the common interest; 

"Section 1. Article 1. The 600,000 acres of land, which Peter 
Chassanis has purchased of Wm. Constable (in which are reserved five 
acres in each 100), shall bo subdivided into 6000 portions, including 
the fractional portions. 

'■ An. 2. A direct title shall be given upon application by the 
holders of certificates, in their own name. 

"Art. 3. These certificates shall be of the following form : 
" Title of the association of the New York eompany in the purchase of 
600,000 acres of land in Montgomery county. State of New York : 

"•The bearer of this certificate has paid the sum of eight hundred 
'livres, which renders him the owner of a hundred acres in six hun- 
' dred thousand acres which have been sold to us as representatives of 
'the company of Proprietors [Conipanie des Actionnaires] according 
' to the present contract, which requires us to pass the necessary 
' titles of this portion of the estate in favor of the holder of this cer- 
< tiflcate whenever he may wish to receive it in his own name. The 
' present certificate is for an integral part and a fraction of the pur- 
' chase above mentioned, by virtue of which the bearer is entitled to 
'all the rights of this association, of which the articles and rules are 
'fixed by the terms of agreement .annexed to this common title. 

" ' This certificate bears the number . In evidence of which 

'it has been signed by myself, countersigned by the commissioners of 
' the company, and inspected by M. Lambot, notary. 

" ' Paris, this of .' 

" These shall remain deposited in the hands of M. Lambot, notary, 
at Paris, who shall make the distribution alter the inspection and 
signature, of which we shall speak hereafter. The price of a certifi- 
cate shall remain fixed at 800 livres, which shall be paid into the hands 
of M. Lambot. Of this sum one-tenth part shall be placed at the dis- 
posal of the trustees to defray the expenses of the concern, such as 
purchasing of tools, materials, provisions, the opening of roads, neces- 
sary fixtures, surveys, and explorations. The nine other tenths shall 
belong to the seller, who shall convey, after tho transfer has been duly 
made by William Constable, in America, a title with all the formal- 
ities required by the usages of the country. This remittance shall be 
made by the depository, directing the sums received to Messrs. Kan- 
soni, Moreland & Hammersley, bankers, in London, in drafts upon 
that city, which shall be sent as received, without waiting the return 
of titles, but till that time that the said Wm. Constable shall not draw 
from the hands of the said bankers in London. 

"Art. 5. The 600,000 acres shall be divided into 12,000 lots, of SO 
acres each, of which six thousand shall be divided and set apart in 
the beginning for individual properties, and six other thousand shall 
belong to the company, who shall ultimately lake measures for in- 
creasing its value, and for a division after the manner hereinafter 

" Art. 6. Each holder of certificates shall have one separate lot, and 
one in common and undivided stock. 

"Art. 7. The 30,000 acres additional, resulting from the reserva- 
tions in the above tract, shall be divided as follows: two thousand 
acres in the formation of a city, in the interior of the tr.act, on the 
banks of the great river that traverses the concession. — 2000. 

•' Two thousand acres besides, to tho founding of a second city, 
upon tho banks of Lake Ontario, at the mouth of the river upon 
which tho first city shall be built to serve for a port and entrepOt of 
commerce. — 2000. 

" Six thousand acres shall be divided among artisans, who shall be 
distributed in the settlements, such as masons, carpenters, locksmiths, 
and joiners, to be charged to them after seven years, by paying a 
rent of twelve sous per acre. — 6000. 

"The twenty thousand acres remaining shall bo expended in the 
construction of roads and bridges, or disposed of as the society may 
direct.— 20,000. 

"Art. 8. The location of the two cities shall be divided into 14,000 
lots, of which 2000 shall be reserved for markets, and edifices, such 
as churches, schools, and other public establishments, and for poor 
artisans, who shall be desirous of locating there. The 12 000 remain- 
ing lots shall bo divided into two classes, the one of separate and the 



other of undivided ownership. One lot of each oliisa shall belong to 
each owner of certificates. 

" Art. 9. The choice of divided lots, in the country as well as in the 
cities, shall belong to the holders of certificates, in the order of the 
dates of the presentation of their titles, by themselves or their author- 
ized agents to the trustees of the company. 

"Art. 10. The trustees of the company shall make upon the spot, 
before the term of seven years, a report of the property remaining in 
common, and its condition; of the improvements of which it is sus- 
ceptible, and an estimate of its value. After this report there shall 
be made a division into 6000 lots, which shall be designated on a plan. 
The trustees shall advertise three months in advance of drawing, 
which shall be done in a general assembly, by those only who shall 
have declared a, fortnight before the drawing, that they wished to 
take part in the same. Those who do not make this declaration, shall 
be deemed to have chosen the continuation and non-division of the 
common property. 

"Art. 11. The holders of certificates, who remain in common, shall 
regulate in a general assembly their particular interests, as well for 
the care of lands which remain with them as for selling them, as they 
may decide. 

" Art. 12. After the drawing, the society shall no longer exist, 
except among such as do not take part in it j the certificates shall be 
furnished to those entitled, contiiioing a title and adjudication of their 

" Art. 13. The aflairs of the company shall be managed by trustees, 
living in Paris, three in number, and by at least two other trustees, 
residing upon the tract. These different trustees shall be in regular 
correspondence, and shall be chosen by an absolute majority of the 
general assembly. These meetings shall be held in Paris, and every 
owner may attend and assist by himself or by proxy. Each share 
shall entitle to one vote, yet no person shall have more than five votes, 
whatever the number of shares he may possess. 

" Art. 14. All the articles aforesaid, are essential to the existence of 
certificates, and can be modified only in a general assembly, convened 
ad hoc. and by a majority of two-thirds. 

''Section II. Govermiwnt. Article 1. Within one month, there 
shall be held a meeting of the subscribers, at the rooms of the said 
Sieur Chassanis, at Paris, No. 20, Rue de la Jaasictme, for the election 
of trustees. 

"Art. 2. The trustees, residing in Paris, shall have the charge of 
proving the certificates, with the depository, and of personally exam- 
ining each, to guard against errors ; the notary shall also compare 
them as received, and paid, after which they shall be signed by the 
said Sieur Chassanis, to be delivered to the shareholders. Conse- 
quently no certificate shall be issued until after these inspections and 
signatures, and the subscribers shall in the mean time only receive a 
provisional receipt of deposit. 

" Art. 3. To guard against all errors in distribution, the certificates 
shall be registered by their numbers, by Sieur Chassanis, upon their 
presentation by the holders, and the record kept in his oflfice, and 
without this entry, of which notice shall be written upon the certifi- 
cate by the said Sieur Chassanis, or by the one whom the trustees 
shall appoint for the purpose, no holder of certificates shall be ad- 
mitted to the meetings, nor have right to take his chance in the 
selection of his location. 

" Art. 4. The trustees, designated for removal to America, shall be 
the bearers of the instructions, and of the general powers of the as- 
sembly; shall survey the land, decide upon the location of the two 
cities, and there prepare fur the company, within three months from 
their arrival, a report of their examinations and labors, with a de- 
tailed plan of the common property, 

'' Art, 5. Trustees shall be chosen from among the holders of cer- 

"Art. 6. The trustees shall decide the location of the fifty acres 
which shall belong originally to each certificate, after which the 
holders shall have the right of choice. 

^* Art. 7. The locations shall be marked upon the two registers, in 
the hands of the trustees in America, who shall retain one and trans- 
mit the other annually to the general as^^^embly in France. 

'' Art. 8. The titles directed to be delivered to the holders of cer- 
tificates, who make known their wish, shall contain a declaration by 
Sieur Chassanis, that in his general purchase, there belongs a certain 
portion to * '^ * as his own, in accordance with a common title, and 
a social regulation of which he is a party; this declaration shall bear 

the number of the certificate, which shall remain attached, under j)ain 
of forfeiture of the action, even though the certificate had been pre- 
viously canceled, and this title shall not be complete till after the 
registration of the trustees to whom it shall bo presented. 

" Art. 9. The trustees in America shall be clothed with a similar 
power by Sieur Chassanis, for granting like titles to those who require 
it. This power shall be granted after a model of the declaration, for 
the purpose of securing uniformity of registry, 

" Art. 111. All decisions and acts of the company done in France, as 
relates to trustees, have no need of public formality when they are 
legalized by the minister or other public functionary of the United 
States, residing in France, 

"Art. 11, There shall be delivered, upon demand, a duplicate of 
title to the holders of certificates, containing a copy of the original, 
and in it shall be mentioned that it is a duplicate," 


The agreement of Constable and Chassanis, of August 
30, 1792, was canceled, and the tract reeonveyed March 
25, 1793, in consequence of the amount falling short, upon 
survey, far beyond the expectation of all parties. On April 
12, 1793, Constable conveyed 210,000 acres, by deed, for 
£25,000, to Chassanis, since known as The Chassanis 
Tract, Castorland, or The French Company's Land, 
bounded north by No. IV, of Macomb's purchase, south 
and west by Black river, and east by a line running north, 
nine miles, from a point near the High falls, and thence 
northeasterly on such a course as might include 210,000 

On April 11, 1797, Chassanis appointed Rodolph Tillier, 
" member of the sovereign counsel of Berne," his attorney, 
" to direct and administer the properties and affairs con- 
cerning Castorland, to follow all which relates to the sur- 
veying and subdividing of this domain, as well as to its 
improvement, clearing, and amelioration ; to make the use- 
ful establishments ; make all bargains with settlers, artists, 
and workmen ; make all payments and receipts ; give and 
take receipts ; pass all title of property, to the profit of 
those who will have acquired lands forming part of Castor- 
land ; to put, or have them put in possession of the said 
lands ; sell of these lauds to the amount of ten thousand 
acres, either paid down for, or on credit, but in small par- 
cels of a hundred or two hundred acres at most." In case 
of death, Nicholas Olive was to succeed him. On February 
18,. 1797, a new agreement was made between Constable 
and Tillier, conveying the Castorland tract to Chassanis, 
after the survey of William Coekburn & Son, of Pough- 
keapsie, in 1799, and giving with greater detail the bounds 
of the tract. The former conveyances made the north and 
east bank of the river the boundary, but in this the centre 
of the channel was agreed upon. On March 6, 1800, 
Constable deeded to Chassanis, for one dollar, a tract of 
30,000 acres in the eastern corner of tract No. IV"., which 
was afterwards subdivided into twenty-seven lots, and con- 
veyed to James Le Ray. Cockburn's survey divided the 
purchase into sis very unequal tracts, formed by the inter- 
section of the principal lines and the river. The tract was 
subdivided by Charles C, Brodhead and assistants, in 
1794, John Cantine, Philip R, Freys. Peter Pharoux, 
and Benoni Newman were among his surveyors. In di- 
viding the tract, the line running north from the High falls 
was assumed as the cardinal line, from which ranges were 
counted east and west. An east and west line, crossing the 



other nine miles from the falls, was fixed as a second car- 
dinal, from which ranges were reckoned north and south. 
The ranges extended to nineteen east, fifty-one west, twenty- 
seven north, and about nine south ; and the lots included 
450 acres each, except those on the margin. These were 
again subdivided into nine square lots, of fifty acres each, 
which were numbered from 1 to 4828. This system of 
numbering has since been observed in designating the loca- 
tion of lands. 

Mr. Brodhead was a native of Pennsylvania, and had 
held the rank of captain in the Revolution. He was em- 
ployed by Tillier, through the influence of Edward Liv- 
ingston and Dr. Oliver, and while performing the survey 
encountered many hardships. An obituary notice, pub- 
lished soon after his death, which occurred within the last 
year, at Utioa, contains the following : 

" In running the great lines of division his party had crossed the 
Black river several times, the men and instruments being ferried 
across. On one occasion, when they had approached the river, having 
journeyed through the woods without noting their route by the com- 
pass, they arrived at a part of the bank which they recognized, and 
knew to be a safe place of passing. Making a raft of logs, ihey 
started from the bank and began to pole across. When in the midst 
of the current their poles failed to reach the bottom, and, simultaneous 
with this discovery, the noise of the waters below them revealed the 
horrid fact that Ihey had mistaken their ferrying place, and were at 
the head and rapidly approaching the Great falls of the river, the 
passage of which threatened all but certain death. Instantly Mr. B. 
ordered every man who could swim to make for the shore, and he pre- 
pared to swim for his own life. But the piteous appeals of Mr. 
Pharoux, a young Frenchman of the party, who could not swim, 
arrested him, and he determined to remain with him to assist him, if 
possible, in the awful passage of the falls. Hastily directing his men 
to gra?p firmly to the logs of the raft, giving similar directions to Mr. 
Pharoux, he then laid himself down by the side of his friend. The 
raft passed the dreadful falls and was dashed to pieces. Mr. Pha- 
roux, with several of the whites and Indians, was drowned, and Mr. 
Brodhead himself thrown into an eddy near the shore, whence he was 
drawn senseless by an Indian of the party.'"* 

The surveyors were in their instructions directed to note 
" all kinds of timber, wild meadows, useful plants, wild 
fruit trees, hills, swamps, creeks, and objects of interest 
generally." The south line of tract No. IV. was run by 
John Campbell and others, in August, 1794. At a very 
early period, a settlement was begun by Tillier and others 
near the High falls, east of the river, and several families 
were settled. Several extensive sales were made by Chas- 
sanis and Tillier to Frenchmen of the better class, who 
had held property and titles in France before the revolu- 
tion. Desjardine & Co. bought 3002 acres on Point Pen- 
insula; Odier & Bousquet, 1500 acres on Pillar Point; 
Nicholas Olive (December 17, 1807t), ^ tract of 4050 
acres north of Black river and bay; Henry Boutin, 1000 
acres around the pleasant village of Carthage, J C. C. 
Brodhead, 400 acres in the present town of Wilna, and 

"•■' The body of this young man was afterwards found on a small 
island at the mouth of the river to which his name was given. Mr. 
J. Le Ray caused to be prepared a marble tablet to be inserted in the 
rocks here, with the following inscription ; 

"To the memory of PETER PHAROUX, this Island is Conse- 

t Ranges N. 27, W. 42, 43, and part of 44, since called the Olive 
tract. Sec. Office Rec., July 16, 1813, C. to Tillier. 

J April 2, 1798, 600 acres for £1000, and December 18, 1798, 600 
acres. Oneida Deeds, A. 2, p. 132. 

others. Among these were a conveyance dated March 31, 
1801, of 1817 half-acres, in scattered lots, to twenty or 
thirty French people, many of them widows of persons who 
had acquired an interest in the New York company. On 
jMay 1, 1798, James Le Ray purchased 10,000 acres in 
Castorland, and February 15, 1801, all his lands not pre- 
viously sold. Chassanis in his early sales had reserved 
about 600 acres (R. 26 W. 24 and 25 N.) between the 
present villages of Brownville and Dexter, for the city of 
Basle. The appendix of a work § printed in Paris in 1801 
contains a letter relating to this company which must have 
been written by one familiar with the country. The work, 
from which we translate, purports to have been made from 
an English manuscript cast ashore on the coast of Den- 
mark from the wreck of the ship " Morning Star," and from 
its romantic style it scarcely merits notice in history. The 
letter is dated September 4, 1800, and is as follows : 


" This northern part of the State of New York, which contains the 
three great districts known as Richland, Katarokouy, and Castor- 
land, is bounded on the north by the river St. Lawrence, on the west 
by the Ontario, on the east by the counties of Washington and Clin- 
ton, and Lake Champl.ain, and on the south by the new cantons of 
Oswego, Onondaga, and Herkimer, and is traversed nearly its entire 
length by Black river, which has forty-five to fifty miles of naviga- 
tion to lis falls, situated a short distance from its mouth, in the bay 
of Niahoure, on Lake Ontario. This river receives in its course many 
considerable streams and creeks, abounding in hydraulic privileges. 
This region is very favorably situated for access. On the one side it 
communicates with Canada by the St. Lawrence, with the English 
establishments upon the right bank of the river, as well as those from 
Kingston, in the bay of Katarokouy, on the other with Lake Ontario, 
by the bays of Niahour^ and Cat Fish, and lastly with the Mohawk 
country, by a route just opened by Richland, Rome, and CastorviUe. 
They have surveyed another from the chief place (CastorviUe?), on 
the first navigable waters of the OswSgatchee, at the confluence of 
which with the St. Lawrence, Major Ford has founded a considerable 
establishment. Long Lake, the waters of which are nearly parallel 
with the Great river, offers another route to those who wish to go to 
Fordsbourg and Lower Canada. With the exception of the moun- 
tains, the soil is deep and fertile, as may be judged by the height and 
variety of the trees that compose the forest. The country which 
borders the river from our Katarokouy to the line which separates us 
from Canada (the 45th parallel), abounds in oak, a timber the more 
precious, as it is rare and valuable at Montreal and Quebec. In other 
sections we see a mixture of elms, buttonwood, sugar-maple, butter- 
nut, hickory, beech, water ash, and basswood. We also find hemlock, 
white pine, and different kinds of spruce, jwild cherry, and red and 
white cedar. From the boughs of the spruce is made that beer so 
praised by Captain Cook, and known to bo the best of anti-scorbutics. 
The sugar-maple is so common in some sections as to form a third of 
the trees. Not only do we derive from thence all the sugar we need, 
but vinegar also, of an excellent quality. As is the case in all 
northern countries, this is filled with woody marshes and natural 
meadows, in which pasturage is had in summer, and forage for win- 
ter. We find in many places limestone, clay, and ore of iron, very 
ductile, but we are still too young to think of building a furnace or 
large forges. It will not be so in ten years ; it is probable we shall 
then be in a condition to furnish to the inhabitants of Upper Canada, 
who, not having contracts to assure tliem the possession of their 
lands, cannot think of engaging in such enterprises. We already 
begin to cultivate corn, wheat, flax, and even hemp, since it had been 
observed to what height it grows on land formerly flowed by beaver 
■ dams ; but it being only the fourth year of our settlement, the details 
of our progress cannot be very interesting. 

^ Voyage dans la haute Pennsylvanie, ct dans I'Ctat de New York, 
par un membre adoptif de la nation Oneida. Traduit et public par 
I'auteur des Lettres d'un Cultivttteur Amoricain, 3 vols. 12mo. 



" An event, as unfortunate as unexpected, has much hindered the 
prosperity of this colony. The death of a young man of much talent, 
whom the Castorland company had sent from Paris, to render a wild, 
and hitherto unknown country, fit to favor the reunion of a new-horn 
society, to divide the lands, open roads, begin the first labors, build 
bridges and mills, and invent machines, where man is so rare. A 
victim of his zeal in taking the level of a bend of the river, he per- 
ished in trying to cross a,bove the great falls. His comrades, so un- 
fortunate as not to be able to assist him, have collected the details of 
this disastrous event in a paper, which I have been unable to read 
without emotions, and which I send. 

"Our rivers abound in fish, and our brooks in trout. I have seen 
two men take seventy-two in a day. Of all the colonies of beavers, 
which inhabited this country and raised so many dams, only a few 
scattering families remain. We have destroyed these communities, 
images of happiness, in whose midst reigned the most perfect order, 
peace, and wisdom, foresight and industry. Wolves, more cunning 
and warlike than the former, live at our expense, and, as yet, escape 
our deadly lead. It is the same with the original elk. It is only seen 
in this part of the State, for our hunters will soon make it disappear, 
for, you know, that wherever man establishes himself the tyrant must 
reign alone. Among the birds, we have the pheasant, drumming 
partridge, wild pigeon, different kinds of duck?, geese, wild turkey, 
etc. Our chief place, situated on the banks of the pretty Beaver 
river, and from thence so appropriately named Casiorville^- begins to 
grow. It is still only, as you may justly think, but a, cluster of 
primitive dwellings, but still it contains several families of mechanics, 
of which new colonies have so frequent need. Several stores, situated 
in favorable places, begin to have business. The Canadians, on the 
right bank of the river, come thither to buy the goods which they 
need, as well as sugar and rum, which, from the duties being less at 
our ports than at Quebec, are cheaper with us than with them. The 
vicinity of these French settlements are very useful to us, in many 
respects. Cattle are cheaper than with us, as well as manual labor. 
Such are the causes of communication between the inhabitants of the 
two sides, that it is impossible for the English government to prevent 

"Our colonists, like others, a mixture of many nations; we 
have some families of Scotch and Irish, but the greater number come 
from the northern States, which, as you know, is the ' ojfficina kumani 
generis' of this continent. Many of the settlers have already made 
considerable improvements. One of these families from Philadelphia, 
besides a hundred acres well inclosed, has begun a. manufacture of 
potash, where the ashes of the neighborhood are leached,' another of 
the (Juaker sect has settled on the route to Kingston, where he has 
already built a saw-mill, and a considerable manufactory of maple- 
sugar, where he made last year about sixteen quintals. The head of 
this family is a model of intelligence and industry; the goods which 
he brought easily procured him much labor at a good rate. He paid 
twelve dollars per acre for clearing his lands, and half the ashes ;f 
besides this he furnished to the potash-makers the great iron chal- 
drons and hand labor, and retains half of the salts, the value of 
which, with the first crop of wheat, pays and more all the expenses 
of clearing, fencing, and harvesting. The average yield per acre 
being twenty-four to twenty-eight bushels, and the price of wheat 
six to eight shillings, it is easy to see that there is still a margin to 
cover accidents, and that the second crop is clear profit. Among 
these families we have some, who, driven from their country by fear 
and tyranny, have sought in this an asylum of peace and liberty, 
rather than wealth, and at least of security and of sweet repose. One 
of these, established on the banks of Rose creek, came from St. Do- 
mingo, where he owned a considerable plantation, and has evinced a 
degree of perseverance worthy of admiration. One of the proprie- 
torsj has a daughter, as interesting by her figure as by her industry, 
who adds at the same time to the economy of the household the 
charms or rather the happiness of their life. Another yet is an offi- 
cer of cultivated mind, sprightly, and original; who, born in the 
burning climate of India, finds here his health is strengthened. He 
superintends the clearing of a tract of twelve hundred acres, which 

* In Lewis county. 

f An acre commonly yields two hundred bushels of ashes, which 
are worth eight cents the bushel. 

J St. Mitchel. His daughter married Marselle, and afterwards De 
Zo telle. 

two sisters, French ladies, have intrusted to him, and to which he has 
given the name of Sistere' Grove. He has already cleared more than 
one hundred acres, erected a durable house, and inclosed a garden, 
in which he labors with assiduity, truly edifying. He has two^ Cana- 
dians, of whom their ancestors were originally fiom the same province 
with himself. Far from his country, the most trifling events become 
at times a cause of fellow feeling, of which those who have never felt 
it can have no idea. As for cattle, those raised that only bring nine 
dollars a pair at the end of the year, are worth seventy dollars when 
they are four years old. Fat cattle, which commonly weigh seven to 
nine hundred pounds, sell at the rate of five dollars per hundred. 
Swine, living almost always in the woods, the settler can have as 
many as ho can fatten in the fall. It should not be omitted to give 
them, from time to time, an car of corn each, to attach them to the 
clearing, and prevent them from becoming wild, for then there is no 
mastering their wills, for they, pining for their wandering life, will 
not fatten on whatever is given them. Butter is as dear with us as 
in old settled countries, and sells for a shilling a pound. We have 
no fear, as some think, that the vicinity of the Canadian establish- 
ments will withdraw our settlers. The lands in Canada are all in the 
hands of Government or the Seigneurs. Both give gratuitously, I 
admit, hut they give no titles,^ from whence numerous difliculties 
arise in selling and transferring. Besides they are burdened with a 
considerable quit rent, the fees of transfer and removal, of escheats 
to the domain in default of heirs, o^ banalitSjW tithes, or reservations 
for religion, and reserves of mines, and oak timber, restrictions un- 
known in the United States, where the lands are franchises and free- 
holds. It is therefore probable that sensible settlers will always 
prefer to so precarious an advantage a sure possession which can be 
transferred without fees or formalities. 

" This country being bounded by the St. Lawrence and the Ontario, 
its population will increase more rapidly than that where men can 
spread themselves ad hifinitvin, as in certain districts of Pennsylvania, 
upon the Ohio, Wabash, etc. What is here called the American 
Katarokouy, or Tracts I., II., III., and IV. of Macomb's great pur- 
chase, will always be the last stage, the Ulthna ThiUe, of this part of 
the State of New York, and we ourselves, the last but one round of 
the ladder. On this account, lands which in 1792 were valued at 
from two to three dollars per acre, have now become from three to 
four dollars. 

"The banks of our great river are not the only ones where our 
population tends. Already those of Swan's creek begin to fill up. 
Were it not for the death of Mr. P. we should have been much more 
advanced, for it was necessary to await the arrival of another engi- 
neer to complete the great surveys and subdivisions. Our winters 
are cold, but less than those of New Hampshire, and the snows of 
this climate are beneficial in preventing the frost from injuring our 
grass and wheat. It is truly wonderful to see with what rapidity 
vegetation is developed a few days after the snows are melted. I 
have placed your habitation not far from the great falls, but far 
enough distant not to be incommoded by the noise, or rather uproar, 
which they make in falling three dififerent stages. The picturesque 
view of the chain of rocks over which the waters plunge ; their tumul- 
tuous commotion ; the natural meadows in the vicinity ; the noble 
forests which bound the horizon ; the establishments on the opposite 
bank ; the passa^ge of travelers who arrive at the ferry I have formed ; 
all contribute to render the location very interesting ; and it will 
become more so when cultivation, industry, and time shall have 
embellished this district, still so rustic and wild, and so far from 
resembling the groves of Thessalia. The house is solid and commo- 
dious, the garden and farm-yards well inclosed. 

" I have placed a French family over the store and am well pleased 
with them. I think, however, they will return to France, where the 
new government has at length banished injustice, violence, and crime, 
and replaced them by the reign of reason, clemency, and law. The 
fishery of the great lake (Ontario), in which I am concerned, furnishes 
me an abundance of shad, ^ salmon, and herring, and more than I want. 
What more can I say ? I want nothing but hands. You who live in 
a country where there are so many useless hands, and whose labors 
are so little productive there, why don't you send us some hundreds 

^ This applies only to Lower Canada. 

II The right of obliging a vassal to bake in one's oven and grind at 
his mill. 

^ White Fish? F. B. H. 



of those men ? The void they would ocoasion would be imperceptible ; 
here they would fill spaces that need to be animated and enlivened by 
their presence. What conoiuest would they not achieve in ten years ! 
and what a difference in their lot ! Soon they would become free- 
holders and respectable heads of families. The other day a young 
Frenchman, my neighbor, seven miles distant, and established some 
years upon the bank of the river, said to me : ' If it is happy to enjoy 
repose, the fruit of one's labors, and of ease after having escaped the 
perils of the revolution, how much more so to have a partner of these 
enjoyments? I am expecting a friend, a brother j it is one of those 
blessings which nature alone can bestow. What pleasure shall I not 
enjoy in pointing out to him the traces of my first labors, and in 
making him count the successive epochs of their progress and the 
stages of my prosperity ! but above all to prove to him that his 
memory has been ever present to me. The objects which surround 
me, I will tell him, are witnesses to the truth of this : this hill upon 
the right, covered with sombre pines, is designated upon my map under 
the name of Hippolite'n Absence, the creek which traverses my meadow 
under that of Brotlieru' Crceic, the old oak which I haveleit standing 
at the forks of the two roads, one of which leads to my house and 
the other to the river, Uinon Creek, and the place of my house Bloom- 
ing Slope. Soon he will arrive from St. Domingo, where Toussaint 
L'Ouverture has allowed him to collect some wreck of our fortune.' " 


On March 27, 1800, Tillier was succeeded in the agency 
by Gouverneur Morris, who appointed Richard Cose, Nov. 
13, 18U1, his attorney. Feb. 5, 1802, Chassanis executed 
a trust conveyance for $1 to James D. Le Ray, of 220,500 
acres, as surveyed by Wm. Cockburn and Son, and by other 
instruments for nominal sums.* The lands were mostly 
sold to actual settlers by Mr. Le Ray, as agent or principal, 
but the details would be unintelligible without a map. 
Chassanis died in Paris Nov. 28, 1803. David B. Ogden, 
Gr. Morris,! and many others were at an early period con- 
cerned in these titles. 

Macomb's Tract No. IV. was surveyed by C. C. Brod- 
head in 1796, assisted by Jonas Smith, Timothy Wheeler, 
Joshua Northrop, Elias Marvin, John Young, Isaac Le 
Fever, Jacob Chambers, Elijah Blake, Samuel Tupper, 
Eliakim Hammond, and Abraham B. Smede, each with a 
few men as assistants, and the whole having a general camp 
or rendezvous at Hungry bay, on the north side of Pillar 
point, at a place called Peck's cove, near where the Chas- 
sanis line crosses the bay. The early settlers here found 
huts standing, and the remains of an old oven are still 
visible. The journals of these surveyors show that they 
suffered much from sickness. Some of their supplies were 
derived from Canada, but the most from the Mohawk settle- 
ments. A few troops were stationed on Carlton island, and 
thitlier some of their sick were sent. This tract, excepting 
the east corner conveyed to Chassanis, was divided into 
1000 lots of 440 acres each (excepting those around the 
border), which were numbered conlinuously. Evert Van 
Allen had been employed in 1795 in surveying the bound- 
aries of tract No. IV. 


A proposition was entertained from Lord Pultney, in 
1792, for the purchase of a million of acres of Black river 
laud, at a quarter of a dollar per acre, of which £5000 
were to be paid down, £20,000 in one, and the same in two 
years, and the reniiiinder as soon as tlie surveys were made. 

■■ Oneida DeeJs, 9, 517 to 525. 

t Jeff. R., 263. 

Constable was to guaranty against claims from the native 
Indians, and all other parties, and to give immediate pos- 
session. The location was to be determined by Col. Wm. 
Stephens Smith, of New York. This bargain failed, and 
Pultney afterwards became largely concerned in lands in 
the Genesee country. Oct. 3, 1792, Jane, the wife of A. 
Macomb, released her right to the lands previously con- 
veyed. April 12, 1793, Constable sold in London, with the 
consent of Chassanis, who had previously held a pre-emption 
claim, to Charles Michael De Wolf, of the city of Antwerp, 
tract No. IV., for 300,000 florins, money of exchange,| 
and in June following, of the same year, De Wolf succeeded 
in negotiating his purchase at a great advance, viz. : for 
680,000 florins, to a company of large and small capitalists 
of the city of Antwerp, who subscribed to the stock in 
shares of 1000 florins each, and organized under the name 
of the Antwerp Company. The stock was divided into 
680 shares. Like most other operations of foreigners in a 
distant country, this company eventually proved unsuccess- 
ful, and a loss to the stockholders. Gouverneur Morris be- 
came their first agent in America, and on Jan. 2, 1800, a 
deed of half the tract, or 220,000 acres, passed to him from 
Constable on account of the company, for §48,889, and on 
the day following, the other half of equal extent, for $46,- 
315.12, to James Donatianus La Ray de Chaumont. Tract 
No. IV. was found, by Van Allen's survey, to contain 450,- 
000 acres, including the State reservations. A former deed 
from Constable to De Wolf was canceled upon the new 
one's being made. The division line between Morris' and 
Le Ray's conveyances commenced at the northeast corner 
of Penet's square, and ran on a line parallel with the county 
line, to the south line of No. IV. Morris took all north- 
east of this, and Le Ray the remainder. August 15, 1802, 
a new division line was agreed upon, commencing near the 
southeast corner of Penet's square, running thence to the 
south corner of lot 512, thence to the west corner of the 
present town of Antwerp, and along the southwest line of 
that town to the south corner of lot 337, and thence to the 
south line of No. IV. A tract of 30,000 acres in the east 
corner of No. IV. was not included in these conveyances, 
having been sold to Chassanis. In 1809, Morris retired 
from the business, his expenses and commissions absorbing 
26,840 acres of land. Dec. 23, 1804, he had sold for 
$62,000 to Lewis R. Morris 49,280 acres in the present 
town of Antwerp. iMr. Morris subsequently conveyed 
forty-one lots to Silvinus Hoard, in the western part of 
Antwerp, adjoining Theresa, and since known as the Cooper 
tract. Abraham Cooper, from Trenton, New York, became 
interested in this tract in 1817. The remainder of Antwerp, 
excepting three ranges of lots on the southeast side, was 
purchased of Morris, by David Parish, in 1808. The tract 
amounted to 29,033 acres, and has been settled under agents 
of the Parish estate. BIoss Kent succeeded as agent of 
the Antwerp company, and June 15, 1809, the remainder 
of their unsold lands, 143,440 acres,§ were conveyed to 
him. He was soon succeeded by Mr. Le Ray, and Sept. 17, 

.t Equal to $126,356. 

§ Comprising 3 ranges of lots (o.x. 772) on east .side of Antwerp, and 
all the company's land in Diana. Jefferson Deeds, rcc. Nov 1 1809. 



1810, the company sold to him for 145,000 florins, money 
of exchange, all their interests in lands in America. The 
lands with Moss Kent were re-conveyed to Le Ray, June 
24, 1817, except 3250 acres sold to Wm. H. Harrison and 
T. L. Ogden, in Lewis county, Dec. 16, 1811. 

Mr. Le Ray is said to have been the owner of one hun- 
dred and twenty-six shares in the Antwerp company, and 
G. Morris of twenty-six. The former having acquired a 
title to No. IV., and the Chassanis tract, removed to Le 
Raysville, where he opened a land- office and proceeded to 
sell land to actual settlers to a very large extent. He also 
effected with several li^uropeans sales of considerable tracts, 
among whom were to Louis Augustin De Caulaincourt, duo 
de Vincence, October 8, 1805, a tract of 4840 acres near 
Milieu's bay, being eleven lots, which were conveyed Janu- 
ary 28, 1825, to Peter Francis Real, known as Count Real, 
chief of police under Napoleon ; to Emanuel Count De 
Grouchy, to General Desfurneaux, and to others considera- 
ble tracts. Several citizens of New York became after- 
wards concerned in these tracts on their own account or as 
agents, and extensive conveyances were made ; but as many 
of these were trusts not expressed, and referred to consid- 
erations not explained in the instruments of conveyance, or 
on record, an intelligent history of them cannot be at this 
time obtained, with suifioient conciseness for publication, 
should they be deemed of sufficient general interest. 
Among the lands conveyed were the following : 

To William and Gerardus Post, June 3, 1825, for S17,000, 11,880 
acres (with 350.3 acres excepted) in the present towns of Wilna and 
Diana j 6500 acres were conveyed by one, and tlie executors of the other 
of these, to T. S. Hammond, of Carthage, Oct. 2, 1837, by two deeds 
for $18,000. To Herman Le Roy and William Bayard, for $50,000, 
Feb. 9, 1820, the interest of J. Le Ray in numerous contracts to set- 
tlers on Great Tract No. IV. 

To Francis Bepau, for $23,280, and $15,000 by two conveyances, a 
large tract in Alexandria, adjoining St. Lawrence county, now held 
by L. J. Goodole, of Watertown. 

To Cornelia Juhel, Oct. 9, 1821, numerous lots; and to many others, 
which, without a map, would be unintelligible. 


In 1818, Joseph Bonaparte, who in the United States 
assumed the title of Count de Survilliers, was induced to 
enter into a bargain with Le Ray, by which he agreed to 
receive in trust, with a warranty, the conveyance of 150,000 
acres of land, including 74,624 acres of the Antwerp Com- 
pany lands, to be taken in the most remote and unsettled 
portions, and at the same time Mr. Le Ray received certain 
diamonds and real estate, the whole rated at $120,000, and 
to be refunded in 1830, unless he should agree to accept 
before that time the title of a part of these lands. A trust- 
deed, with covenant and warranty, was accordingly passed 
Dec. 21, 1818, to Peter S. Duponceau, the confidential 
agent of the count, for 150,260 acres, with the exception 
•of such tracts, not exceeding 32,260 acres, as might have 
been conveyed or contracted to actual settlers. This deed 
included the greater part of Diana, two tiers of lots from 

* This personage, who held successively the thrones of Naples and 
Spain, was born in the island of Corsica in 1768, being the next older 
brother of Napoleon I. His residence in this country was as an exile, 
and he returned to Europe as soon as political events permitted. 

the southeast side of Antwerp, the whole of Wilna and 
Philadelphia, a small piece south of Black river, where it 
makes a node across the Chassanis line into No. IV., ^ tract 
of four lots wide and seven long from Le Ray, and nine 
lots from the easterly range in Theresa. It was recorded with 
a defeasance appended, in which it is declared a security for 
$120,000, as above stated, and it. provided for an auction 
sale of lands to meet this obligation. f Diamonds having 
fallen to half their former price, the fact was made a subject 
of complaint; and, in 1820, the count agreed to accept 
26,840 acres for the nominal sum of $40,260. Those lands 
lay in the most remote portion of No. IV., and Mr. Le Ray, 
in a letter to one of the Antwerp Company, dated April 9-, 
1821, complimented the count upon his taste in selecting a 
" tract abounding in picturesque landscapes, whose remote 
and extensive forests, affording retreat to game, would en- 
able him to establish a great hunting-ground ; qualities of 
soil, and fitness for settlers were only secondary considera- 
tions. . . . He regrets, notwithstanding, that thus far he 
has been unable to find among the 26,000 acres of land a 
plateau of 200 acres of land to build his house upon, but 
he intends keeping up his researches this summer." The 
count subsequently commenced an establishment near the 
present village of Alpina, in Diana, where a small clearing 
was made, but this was soon abandoned. 


The following is the petition that procured the act of nat- 
uralization of Count Survilliers. It is preserved in French 
and English, in the Assembly papers, vol. xii., pp. 37- 
41, secretary's office : 

" To the Hoiinrab/e, the Leijiftlature of the State of New York : 

" Joseph Bonaparte, Count de Survilliers, respectfully represents : 
That he arrived in the State of New York about ten years since, and 
having the desire to bring his family and fortune to the said State, 
he made engagements with some proprietors for the purchase of one 
hundred thousand acres of land : he paid the value of said lands, but 
could not obtain a title for them, as the existing laws were opposed 
to it. He had, therefore, to be contented with a simple mortgage. 
Availing himself of a law promulgated at the same time by a neigh- 
boring State, in favor of .aliens, he fixed his residence there, on lands 
which he was authorized to hold, leaving New York .after having re- 
mained there more than twelve months. At this time, he is obliged 
by peculiar circumstances, either to sell his mortgage, or to become 
the proprietor of the land, and persisting in his desire to acquire 
property in the State of New York, and to spend there a part of the 
year, which he thinks cannot fail to be beneficial to the numerous 
settlers already established on these lands, and increase their num- 
ber, upon the consideration that a neighboring government rapidly 
increases its population by the encouragement given to aliens, and 
not being of the number of those who would wish to abandon this 
land of hospitality, whore the best rights of man prevail, but never- 
theless bound to his own country by duties which misfortune renders 
more sacred, and being unable, as many others have done, he avails 
himself of the law which offers him the honorable and precious title 
of an American citizen ; and presuming that he will find in the State 
. of New York the same condescension and kindness he has met with 
in other States of the Union, the subscriber prays the legislature will 
grant to him the right to possess and hold lands in the State of New 

(Signed) " JosT^PH. Bonapatite, 

** Count de Sif~villiere.*' 

October 29, 1823, Le Ray conveyed to William H. Har- 
rison, in trust for the Antwerp company, for fifty thousand 

f Lewis County Records. 



dollars, two ranges of lots in Antwerp, next to Lewis 
county, subject to the mortgage to Duponoeau, with a large 
amount of lands in Lewis county. Meanwhile an act was 
procured, November 27, 1824, allowing Charles Joseph 
Xavier Knyif, Charles Joseph Greelhand Delafaille, Jean 
Joseph Reinier, Osy, Pierre Joseph De Caters, and Jean 
Joseph Pinson, as trustees of the Antwerp company, to take 
and hold lands, and to them Harrison conveyed the above 
tracts. Duponceau and Bonaparte subsequently released. a 
large tract and took a title of eighty-one thousand one hun- 
dred and eighty acres. The history of these transactions 
may be traced in the recorded conveyances.* James Le 
Ray, December 31, 1823, conveyed to his son Vincent all 
his lands in Jefferson County, and by a similar conveyance 
his lands in Lewis county, for the benefit of his credi- 

Duponceau executed, July 16, 1825, to Joseph Bona- 
parte (who by an act of March 31, 1825, had been em- 
powered to hold lands), a deed of all the rights he had 
acquired in the above conveyances. Bonaparte, by an in- 
strument dated July 14, 1832, made Joseph Raphineau 
his attorney, to deed lands contracted by Joseph Boyer, his 
land-agent. In June, 1835, he sold to John La Parge, fur 
eighty thousand dollars, all the interest of Count Survil- 
liers in lands in this and Lewis counties. 

It has been said with much probability, that Count Sur- 
villiers hastened to dispose of this estate, that he might be 
the better prepared to take advantage of any fortune which 
the revolutions of Europe might turn up ; and the political 
aspect of the continent at that time apparently favored the 
hopes of the Bonaparte family, who have but recently)- re- 
gained the sceptre of France. The count first urged the 
sale upon Judge Boyer, his agent, and came within a few 
thousand dollars of closing a bargain. Mr. La Farge is 
said to have cleared a large profit in this purchase. 

In October, 1824, the Antwerp company appointed J. N. 
Rottiers, their agent, to receive and convey lands, and he 
was directed, by parties interested in claims, to commence a 
prosecution against Le Ray, which was done. The extreme 
depression in the price of land and cessation of sales which 
followed the completion of the Erie canal and the opening 
of the western states to emigration, operated disastrously 
to all parties who had based their plans upon expectation of 
receipts from land sales ; and although the estates of Mr. Le 
Ray were both extensive and valuable, he could not at that 
time encounter the combination of circumstances which bore 
so heavily upon all landholders throughout the northern 
counties, and he found himself compelled to apply for the 
benefit of the insolvent act, and to surrender his estates to 
his son, in trust for his creditors. As a justification of his 
course, he published for distribution among his foreign 
creditors a statement,^ in which he vindicated in a satisfac- 
tory manner the course he had adopted, and set forth the 
kind and quantity of property at his disposal to meet his 
liabilities. He had at that time the following lands in this 
State : 

*■■ Jeff. Deed?, rec. November 7, 1845. + 1S51 

t Acte de Transmission, par M. Le Ray de Chaumont, -^ son fils 
de ses proprietes, etc., 4to. P,vri.=, pp. 70. 

In Franklin county 30,758 acres, valued at $22,500 

" St. Lawrence county.... 73,947 " " 106,000 

" Jefferson " ....143,500 " " 574,000 

" Lewis " ....100,000 " " 133,000 

Of his Jefferson lands, one-eighth were subject to con- 
tracts of settlers, upon which were three grist-mills, three 
saw-mills, and various clearings, with buildings. At Le 
Raysville, were a grist-mill, store-houses, etc., valued at 
twenty -six thousand dollars, and in Pennsylvania, Otsego 
county, and in France other properties of large amount. 
In closing up this business, a large amount of land was con- 
firmed to Vincent Le Ray, and the settlement of the srffairs 
was so managed as to satisfy in full the claims of Ameri- 
can creditors. Our account of these transactions has been 
necessarily brief and imperfect, yet the attention we have 
given it has convinced us that there is nothing in the matter 
but that will bear the closest examination. 

A considerable amount of the Antwerp company's lands, 
remaining in scattered parcels, was sold in 1828 by the 
agent to John La Farge, but this sale was subsequently set 
aside by the court of chancery,§ and Feb. 15, 1836, 24,230 
acres, being niosc of the reujaiuing lands of the company, 
and situated in Theresa, Antwerp, Alexandria, and Orleans, 
were sold to Samuel Stocking, of Utica, and Norris M. 
Woodruff, of Watertown, for one dollar per acre. Wm. H. 
Harrison acted in the latter sale as the agent of the com- 
pany, and the tract has been nearly all sold off by Jason 
Clark, Esq., of- Plessis, agent of the proprietors. 

Mr. La Farge, July 28, 1846, sold to Chas. L. Faverger, 
for $48,513, a tract embracing the two eastern ranges of 
lots in Antwerp, and one hundred and twenty-two lots in 
Diana, excepting parts previously conveyed, amounting to 
48,513 acres, and a great portion has since been sold in 
large and small tracts to settlers. There is at this time 
(1854) but a comparatively small part of great tract No. 
IV. in this county, but that is under cultivation, and held 
as freeholds by the occupants. Dr. John Binsse, of Pa- 
melia, is the present agent of La Parge. 


Wm. Constable, Dec. 18, 1792, conveyed to Samuel 
Ward, for £100,000, 1,280,000 acres, it being the whole of 
Macomb's purchase, in Nos. V. and VI., out of which was 
excepted 25,000 acres sold to Wm. Inman, Samuel Ward, 
Dec. 20, 1792, conveyed to Thomas Boylston- (of Boston) 
for £20,000, a tract commencing at the extreme southern 
angle of Lewis county, as now bounded ; running thenee 
to the mouth of Salmon river, and along the lake to Black 
river, and up that stream to the north bounds of the present 
town of Leyden, and thence to the place of beginning. The 
course of Black river was then supposed to be nearly direct, 
from the High Falls to the lake, and this tract was believed to 
contain about 400,000 acres, but when surveyed around by 
Wm. Cockburn & Son, 1794, it was found to include 817,- 
155 acres I Ward also sold 210,000 acres to John Julius 
Angerstein, a wealthy merchant of London, which the lat- 
ter afterwards sold to Gov. John Brown, of Providence, R. 
I., and which has since been commonly called Brown's Tract 

Paige's Chancery Reports, i., p. 57 1, whora a rehearal is declined. 



and is yet (1854) mostly a wilderness. He also sold 
50,000 and 25,000 acres to Wm. Inman, who afterwards 
figured largely in the titles of Lewis county ;* with the 
exception of 685,000 acres thus conveyed to Boylston, 
Angerstein, and Inman, he reconveyed, Feb. 27, 1793, the 
remainder to Constable. 

On May 21 , 1794, Boylston gave a deed of trust of eleven 
townships to George Lee, George Irving, and Thomas 
Latham, assignees of the firm of Lane, Son, and Eraser, of 
London, and they conveyed them to John Johnson Phyn, 
of that place (June 2, 1794), in whom, by sundry convey- 
ances and assurances in the law, the title became vested. 
April 10, 1795, Phyn appointed Wm. Constable his attor- 
ney to sell and convey any or all of the Boylston tract, 
who accordingly sold, July 15, 1795, to Nicholas Low, Wm. 
Henderson, Richard Harrison, and Josiah Ogden Hoffman, 
a tract of 300,000 acres, since known as the Blach River 
Tract. This purchase comprised Hounsfield, Watertown, 
Rutland, Champion, Denmark, Henderson, Adams, Rod- 
man, Pinckney, Harrisburg, and Lowville. On April 1, 
1796, Phyn confirmed this title. The tract was found by 
measurement to contain 290,376 acres, to make up which 
deficiency. Constable, in 1796, conveyed town No. 2 
(Worth), excepting 948 acres in the southeast corner, which 
he reserved to himself. On the last-mentioned date, Phyn 
conveyed to Constable 401,000 acres, being the remainder 
of the Boylston tract. The present town of Lorraine is in 
this conveyance. 

William Constable gave to his brother James a power of 
attorney to sell lands, March 16, 1798 ; and, to secure the 
confidence of Europeans and others in the validity of his 
title, he procured from Alexander Hamilton, Richard Har- 
rison, J. 0. Hoff'man (attorney-general of the State), Dan- 
iel McKinnen, and other eminent lawyers a certificate that 
they had examined his conveyances and believed them per- 

March 22, 1797, Constable conveyed to Marvel Ellis, of 
Troy, the town of EUisburg, in accordance with an agree- 
ment dated April 11, 1796, except three thousand acres, 
convoyed March 17, 1797, to Robert Brown and Thomas 
Eddy, in the southwest corner of the town. This tract 
was long without a resident agent, and, from being settled 
by squatters, it acquired the unhallowed name of No 

In June, 1804, Brown and Eddy sold half of the tract 
to George Scriia, and the latter to William Bell. The re- 
mainder was exchanged for a farm in New Jersey, by Lord 
Bolingbroke. Ellis' purchase, according to Medad Mitch- 
ell's survey of August, 1795, was 51,840 acres, but by a 
subsequent survey of B. Wright it covered 52,834 acres. 
A part of No. 10 (Sandy Creek) was conveyed Nov. 16, 
1796j to Mrs. H. M. Colden, for the Earl of Selkirk. 
Ellis, on the day of his purchase, mortgaged it for the pay- 
ment, and in 1801 he became insolvent. In January, 
1802, Constable filed a bill in chancery against Ellis and 
his creditors to foreclose for equity of redemption. On 
May 22, 1803, William Constable died, and his executors, 
James Constable, John McViokar, and Hezekiah B. Pierre- 

* Inman was the father of Henry luman, the celebrated artist. 

pont, were advised that the title was perfected by the 
answer to the bill in chancery, but, to put all questions' 
forever at rest, they deemed it advisable to proceed to fore- 
close. It was accordingly advertised, and sold, under the 
direction of Thomas Cooper, master in chancery, at the 
Tontine coiFee-house, New York, March 1, 1804, to Dan- 
iel MoCormick. March 2 the executors of Constable con- 
veyed the town to McCormick, and on the 3d the latter re- 
conveyed to the executors. April 26, 1819, a deed of re- 
lease from the heirs of William Constable was executed to 
H. B. Pierrepont, from whom the title of the unsold por- 
tions passed to his son, William C., who has in like manner 
acquired the title of Lorraine from Constable. 

The eleven towns were divided by ballot between the 
company, Aug. 5, 1796, Harrison & Hoffman receiving 
numbers 1, 4, 5, 8, and 10, or Hounsfield, Champion, 
Denmark, Rodman, and Harrisburg, and 1283 acres of 
Constable's, No. 2 (Worth), which had been added to 
make up the amount purchased, and was used in "making 
change;" Low received 2, 7, and 11, or Watertown, Adams, 
and Lowville, with 1576 acres of the present town of 
Worth ; and Henderson 3, 6, and 9, or Rutland, Hender- 
son, and Pinckney, with 649 acres in Worth. 

These proprietors disposed of their towns as follows : No. 

I was sold, the north half to Henry Champion and Lemuel 
Storrs, June 30, 1797, and the south part (15,913 acres) 
to Peter Kemble and Ezra Hounsfield, for $4000, March 
10, 1801, who have sold the most to actual eettlers, through 
the agency of E. Camp. The sales of the north part will 
be given in our account of that town. Numbers 2, 7, and 

II were sold by S. Stow, M. 8. Miller, and I. W. Bostwick, 
of Lowville, agents for Low. No. 3 was first partly con- 
veyed to actual settlers by Asher Miller and Abel French, 
when the remaining interest of Henderson was conveyed to 
Dr. Isaac Bronson, of Greenfield, Connecticut, who gave 
its agency to his brother, Ethel Bronson, with whom it 
continued till his death, when it was transferred to George 
White, who completed the settlements with settlers. No. 
4 was sold to Champion and Storrs (with the north half of 
1), and by N. Hubbard and A. Lathrop, agents, it was sold 
to settlers. No. 6 began to settle under the same agents as 
3. In 1806, Jesse Hopkins was appointed agent, and con- 
tinued about fifteen years. Certain lots amounting to 5716 
acres were sold to Isaac Bronson, June 10, 1807, for 
$10,003.44, and settled by the agents of the latter. No. 8 
was settled for the proprietors by I. W. Bostwick, agent 
at Lowville. Harrison and Hoiiman continued tenants in 
common of 5, 8, and 10 until May 1, 1805. In July, 
1809, an instrument was executed, securing certain inter- 
ests of Hoffman to Thomas L Ogden and Abijali Ham- 
mond, and January 5, 1810, Hoffman conveyed to Harri- 
son his interest in these towns. 

The gTcatcr part of township 2 (Worth) fell to the share 
of Harrison and Hoffman. It was laid out by Medad 
Mitchell in 1695 ; and Dec. 23, 1797, these proprietors 
made a partition, and Hariison conveyed the north half to 
Hoffman, who, July 16, 1798, made a conveyance to Daniel 
McCormick and Charles Smith, in trust, to sell and convey 
and to keep the money till certain debts were paid. Several 
subsequent transfers were made, which we have not deemed 



of sufficient public interest to trace. The title to the soutli 
part remained with Harrison for many years. 

Wright's remarks on the eleven towns. 
The boundaries of the Eleven Towns were surveyed by 
Benjamin Wright in April and May, 1796, and from his 
field-book, the original of which, received from Robert 
McDowell, Esq., is before us, the following interesting 
memoranda are quoted. These notes enabled the purchasers 
to estimate the relative value of the several townships, and 
formed the first accurate data possessed in relation to the 
country south of Black river. The remarks on the towns 
in Lewis county are omitted : 

1. [Hounsfield.] This township is poorly watered along the southerly 
line, but is very fine soil of land, and quite level. There is only one 
swamp, which is near the three-mile stake [south side], and is a 
dead, marshy spot of thirty chains in width, and appears to extend 
north and south on the line for some distance. The timber is, near 
the lake, oak, hickory, chestnut, and some beech, maple, ash, birch, 
and ironwood. On the east lino of this town there are many small 
streams of very fine water. The land is descending westerly, and a 
very fine soil, except a largo swamp near the four-mile tree, which is 
some marshy, and timbered with ash, hemlock, etc. There is some 
exceedingly good pine timber on this line. The other timber is beech, 
maple, bass, elm, ash, ironwood, birch, etc. Pretty level, some gentle 
ascents and descents. Along the river there is an excellent body of 
pine timber of fine quality. The land along the river is handsome, 
but not more than four or five inches to a rocky, flat solid stone, 
which has large vacancies or seams, where you may find cracks in the 
rocks of ten feet to the bottom, and not more than four inches wide. 
Along the bay, there is a pretty good country, except some marshes, 
where the streams come in. The shore in many places along the bay, 
is a perpendicular rock of twenty-five or thirty feet, and a very bold, 
deep shore, some flat, and almost all is very stony. Some marshes 
along the lake, near to the peninsula, and some small streams, which 
make a meadow or marsh, where they enter the lake. Contains 26,048 
acres. * 

2. [Watertown.] Along the river there is some pretty good land, 
and some that is broken and rocky. The river is amazing rapid, and 
rocky J some falls along the river which may be made good mill-seats, 
and some excellent pine timber along the river. On the east line is 
a fine country. Near the three-mile tree is a swamp of very fine ash 
timber, which will make excellent meadow. There are some steep 
ascents and descents, which are all excellent soil. Timber — beech, 
maple, bass, elm, ash, birch, and some pine and ironwood; near the 
river some oak and walnut. On the south line is mnplc, bass, ash, 
beech, birch, and elm. A very fine soil and pretty well watered with 
small streams, and some large ones. The west line is of !»• good 
quality. There are some fine mill-seats in this town, which on the 
map are marked "falls"and "rapids." To speak generally, I think 
this to be an excellent township, and scarce any poor land in it. Will 
settle very fast if laid in lots, and sold to settlers. Contains 26,804 

3. [Rutland.] Along the river very rocky, and some good land; 
very few streams emptying into the river. There is a fine mill stream 
and various mill-seats, near the Black river, where it falls into the 
river, a fall of six feet, very curious, indeed, for mills. Along the 
river there are two falls of fourteen and six feet, which, together with 
the rapids that extend for a number of miles, make up a great fall in 
the river. The cast line is a very fine country, and handsomely tim- 
bered with maple, beeeb, bass, ash, butternut, elm, pine, and hemlock. 
On the south line there is a pretty good country, timbered with maple, 
beech, bass, ash, elm, birch, and hemluek. Along the line on the west 
side is a very good track of land, well timbered. This town appears 
to be exceeding good ; all the waters are clear and good, and arc formed 
altogether from springs which arise on the land. The town in general 
is most excellent soil, well watered with large and small streams, and 
I think would answer any person's expectation for settling. Contains 
27,604 acres. 

4. [Champion.] The west line of this town is in general excellent 

land, and has no steep ascents and descents of consequence, but gentle 
slopes interspersed with small streams of excellent water. There are 
some fine mill streams, which have good mill- seats. A fall on a con- 
siderable stream of water, which runs northerly, and falls into Black 
river, is a most excellent mill-seat. The country is timbered with' 
maple, beech, basswood, birch, ash, elm, butternut, and some hemlocks. 
Along the river there is a good country a small distance from the 
river, timbered with maple, beech, bass, ash, elm, and butternut, pine, 
and hemlock. The Long falls ma,y be made good mill-seats. This 
township is exceedingly good soil, beautifully timbered, watered ex- 
ceeding well and with excellent water; some limestone along the river, 
and somefew ledges of other kinds of stone, of excellent quality for 
building. I have not traversed the interior part of this town, but 
from every appearance it is an excellent township. It has almost 
every good quality that can be fixed in one township of land. Con- 
tains 25,708 acres. 

6. [Henderson.] The south land of this town is exceedingly good 
land, and is timbered with maple, beech, bass, ash, elm, oak, and 
hickory ; near the mile tree on the south line, there is a swamp of 
cedar, and some pine, ash, etc. The east line is timbered with maple; 
beech, bass, elm, ash, birch, etc., very fine soil, and pretty level, some 
swamps, but all good, and will make excellent meadow, and are filled 
with valuable timber. The north line is a pretty level country, som^ 
gentle ascents and descents, and some oak, chestnut, hickory, ashj 
beech, maple, and pine on it. Along the Hungry bay there is a very 
handsome beach, and fine land the whole distance around, until you 
pass a peninsula, when the shore is a perpendicular rock, of from, 
30 to 80 and, in some places nearly 100 feet. The land does not 
appear to be very good near these rocks, and no streams whatever. 
A cedar swamp lies along on the top of the bank for a considerable 
distance. After you are at Stony Point you will find the lake-shore of 
flat rocks, and the appearance of the country to be pretty good ; some 
marshes and some cold hemlock land. Where the shore is not rocky, 
there are very large stones. The largest stream in this town is Stony 
creek, which has a pond about three miles up, of 400 acres, and u. 
dead cranberry marsh around the pond. There are some fine mill- 
seats on Stony creek, below the pond, but none above. The marsh 
around the pond is very poor and very miry. To speak generally 
this is a pretty good town; has a good harbor. On the southwest' 
part is Stony Creek bay. 

7. [Adam.**.] This is a very good township. On the south line, it 
is a very fine country, and very handsomely timbered with maple, 
beech, bass, ash, elm, birch, and butternut. Along the east line there 
is pine timber, and all the soil is fine ; the timber in general is maple, 
elm, bass, ash, beech, birch, ironwood, and butternut. It is a pretty 
level country, some undulations, and some excellent swale land. On 
the north line there is very fine soil, and handsome timber of maple, 
bass, ash, beech, birch, elm, butternut, and ironwood. The prin- 
cipal streams are Stony creek and the north branch- of Big Sandy 
creek. This branch is a large stream of one chain eighty links width 
in general, and has some very fine interval, and is almost all flat rock 
bottom. There are some appearances of mill-seats on this branch, 
and, I suppose, good ones, but I have seen nothing of that kind. 
Some fine springs of water are scattered over the town, and are of 
good quality. To speak generally, the town has every good quality! 
Mill-.seats, springs of excellent water, pine, timber, limestone, clay, 
maple, beech, bass, ash, butternut, birch, ironwood, pine, oak, and 
chestnut timber, gentle ascents and descents, fine ?oil, black mould, 
and loam in general. 

8. [Rodman.] The north line of this town is a very fine soil, and 
in general pretty level; some hills and gentle ascents, all of which 
are very fine. It is timbered with maple, bass, ash, elm, beech, 
birch, butternut, and hemlock, which are near tho banks of the 
streams. There is some pine on this line, but not a plenty. On the 
east line there is a pretty good country, excepting it is much cut to 
pieces with tho streams, all of which make largo gulfs from forty to 
one hundred and fifty feet deep. On the south lino is a pretty good 
country, finely watered with streams. The timber in general is maple, 

' beech, bass, elm, hemlock, spruce, ash, birch, soft maplo, and iron- 
wood. On tho west line there is fine land, which is timbered as tho 
rest. Tho north branch of Big Sandy creek passes through near tho 
northwest part, and makes very fine intervals along its course. This 
is a fine mill stream, and has a sufficient quantity of -water for all 
seasons. There are also other streams, which run through this town, 
on which are fine mill-scats. Some pine timber, but not in abundance. 



These notes close with the following comparison of the 
probable relative value of the several towns : 

Nos. 1, 2, 5, 6, 7 are very little to choose in point of quality ; 6 is 
best situated, but 7 is most excellout; 5 would be called best by those 
New England people, on account of the luxuriance of the soil on Deer 
creek; 2 is an exceeding good town, but is not so good as-7; 8 and 
9 are very good towns; 10, the north part is exceedingly good; H, 
the west part is excellent ; 7 has the preference for quality and situa- 
tion together, and 6 for situation only of the whole; No. 1 is well sit- 
uated, but I fear has not good mill-seats on it ; 8 has excellent mill- 
seat?, and 9 also, but is some broken ; 10 is bad in the south line, and 
9 also is cold and hemloeky. 


The islands in the St. Lawrence and lake were included 
in the original contract* of Blaconib with the State, June 
22, 1791, but, from the uncertainty of the boundary, they 
were not patented till long after. The claim of Macomb 
passed to Daniel McCormick, and was recognized by the 
commissioners of the Land Office, January 28, 1814, when 
they directed the surveyor-general to survey sueh islands 
as were clearly within the limits of the State at the ex- 
pense of the owner, and a release of damage was to be 
granted should the lands so laid out hereafter be included 
in Canada, upon the running of the boundary. MeCorniiok 
sold his interest to D. A. and T. L. Ogden, which was also 
sanctioned by the commissioners. May 14, 1817. For run- 
ning the boundary agreed upon by the treaty of Ghent, 
General Peter B. Porter was appointed commissioner, and 
Samuel Hawkins agent for the United States, and John 
Ogilvie commissioner on the part of Great Britain, who 
met at St. Regis, and, after carefully ascertaining the line 
of 45° north lat., by a series of astronomical observations, 
proceeded thence in two parties, one to Lake Champlain 
and the other up the river. In 1818 the latter had reached 
Ogden's island, and in 1819 their labor was completed. 
Patents were issued for the islands as follows : 

All the islands" in the State, between a line drawn at 
right angles to the river, from the village of Morristown, 
and a meridian drawn through the western point of Grind- 
stone island, to Elisha Camp, February 15, 1823. These 
islands contained 15,402.9 acres, of which Grindstone 
island contained 5291, Wellesley island 8068, and Indian 
Hut island 369 acres, with several smaller ones without 
names. Patents were also issued to Camp on the same 
diiy to Stony island, 1536 acres; Calf island, 34.8 acres; 
Little Galloo island, 48.8 acres ; the most of Galloo island, 
2216.2 acres; and Willow Island, half an acre. A patent 
to the United States, for 30.75 and 5 acres on Galloo 
island, was issued December 11, 1819, and to Melauch- 
thon L. Woolsey, November 3, 1823, for Gull's island, 6.5 
acres, and Snake island, 1.4 acres. Cherry island, in Chau- 
mont bay, 108.4 acres ; Grenadier island, 1290 acres, and 
Fox' island, 257.5 acres, were patented to Hezekiah B. 
Pierrepont and otljers October 1,1824. 500 acres on the 
western part of Carlton island were patented to Charles 
Smyth, October 2, 1828.'j" A partition deed was executed 
between Pierrepont and Joshua Waddington and Thomas 
L. Ogden, November 10, 1824, by which the former re- 

* Land Office Minutes, vol. ii. p. 192. 
f See our account of Cape Vincent. 

ceived Grenadier and Cherry islands. They were sold Feb- 
ruary 19, 1825, for seven thousand dollars, to William and 
Gerardus Post, of New York. These islands had been oc 
cupied many years by squatters, who with great reluctance 
yielded possession. Incidents, connected with surveys and 
titles, will be given in our account of the several towns, 
and, in their place, sketches of several of the characters 
who figured in these transactions. 

The jurisdiction of a part of Galloo island was ceded by 
the legislature to the United States for a lighthouse, by an 
act of April 21, 1818 ; that of Tibbets point (about three 
acres), January 25, 1827 ; that of Horse island, April 26, 
1831 ; and a part of Carlton island, June 21, 1853. In 
these cessions the State retains concurrent civil and criminal 



Early French Settlements — Chassanis — Brunei — Journal of French 
Explorers in 1793 — Notes from the " Castorland Journal," 1794 — 
First Mill at Carthage, 1795— Death of M. Pharoux — Earliest Set- 
tlements in the various Towns. 

On the 31st of August, 1792, Wilham Constable, then 
in Paris, sold to Peter Chassanis, of that city, 630,000 
acres of land south of great tract Number IV., and be- 
tween the Black river and a line near the 44° N. latitude. 
Chassanis in this purchase acted as agent for an association, 
and the lands were to be by him held in trust for Constable 
until paid for. The State reservations for roads, etc., were 
stipulated, and a deed for 625,000 acres haying been made 
out, was delivered to Ren6 Lambot, as an escrow to take 
elFect on the payment of £52,000. 

The purchasers immediately set to work to perfect a 
scheme of settlement, and in October, 1792, issued a pam- 
phlet embodying a programme of colonization, under the 
auspices of a company organized under the laws of Francej 
by the name of La Compagiiie de New Ymk. Like many 
transcendental schemes of modern times, it appeared very 
beautiful upon paper, and the untried experim.ent promised 
every advantage which associated capital and active indus- 
try could claim, or the most ardent hope promise. Simon 
Desjardines and Peter Pharoux were chosen from among 
the shareholders as commissioners in America. They lost 
no time in ex-ecuting their mission, and leaving France 
July 7, 1793, arrived in just two months in New York, 
with the design of proceeding upon the tract to explore its 
boundaries, and take possession in the name of the com- 
pany. At Albany they met one of their countrymen, a 
political exile, who, although but twenty-four years of age, 
had already become known by his ingenious mechanical 
ccnstruotions, and who has since justly claimed to rank 
with Franklin, Briudley, Herschel, and Watt, by the bril- 
liancy of his inventive genius and his magnificent monu- 
ments of constructive art. This person was Mark Isarabart 
Brunei, since celebrated as the founder of the machine- 
shops of the Royal Navy Yard at Portsmouth, England, 

± For additional information, see "History of Land Titles," ante. 



the builder of magnificent railroad structures in England, 
and the engineer of the Thames tunnel. Brunei was pre- 
pared for any adventure, and accepted with eagerness the 
offer made him by the commissioners, not only of receiving 
him into their company, but of appointing him their cap- 
tain on this remote and difficult service. These three 
Frenchmen hired four natives of the country, making a 
party of seven men. They spent two months in the au- 
tumn of 1793 upon this service. In the spring of 1794 
they returned, and commenced improvements upon their 

A journal was kept by the party, which was carried by 
them to Paris. This journal, the most interesting portions 
of which relate to their labors at the High Falls and at 
Carthage, was found by Mr. William Appleton in a second- 
hand bookstore, in Paris, and purchased by him for a tri- 
fling sum. A copy of the journal was placed by Mr. John 
Appleton in the library of the Massachusetts Historical 
Society, which has since been translated by Dr. P. B. 
Hough, of Lowville, New York, who expects to publish 
the same at some future time.* 

The following is an extract from the journal kept by one 
of this party in the fall of 1793, beginning during the 
voyage on Lake Ontario en route from Oswego to the 
mouth of Black river : 

* * * " To avoid passing the niglit in the open lalce and to gain 
the shore, we, at a quarter before five, steered N. N, E. nearly in the 
direction of the upper highland, which we took to be that of Steu- 
ben,f according to the opinion of M. de Zcny, and directed our 
course towards a point which appeared to be the mouth of a creek, 
rowing hard until about seven o'clock. Luckily, the bright jnoon 
supplied the light of day j but, when near the land, we saw a heavy 
surf, which we feared would throw us upon a desolate shore and pre- 
vent us from finding the supposed opening. We therefore resolved 
to keep along the coast till we found a place where the waves were 
less rough and a landing-place more certain. After going a full mile 
we availed ourselves of a place, not as shallow as the rest, to run the 
breakers and throw ourselves upon the shore of fine white sand ; and, 
there being no trees, we thought it must be the mouth of a creek. 
We sprang into the water to push the bateau up the bank beyond 
the reach of the waves. Having with some difficulty placed it in a 
safe place, we kindled a fire and went to explore the coast, while our 
men pitched the tent and gathered drift-wood for fuel. We had to 
climb a sand-hill, which appeared entirely formed by the winds, and, 
on reaching the top, we were surprised to see on the other side a con- 
siderable sheet of water, and beyond this the woods upon the true 
bank of the lake. The sand-hill was even steeper in the rear than 
towards the lake, and appeared like those that form bayous along the 
sea-coast. It extended further than we could see towards the north, 
and south. We returned to the landing, and, having dried our cloth- 
ing before a fire of red cedar, which shed a most agreeable perfume, 
took supper, and then resolved by the bright moonlight to follow the 
sand-hills in search of the mouth of Great or Little Sandy creeks, 
which the maps located near this place. But, after going a long dis- 
tance, we found nothing but the same banks of sand and the same 
sheet of water behind them. 

" Friday, October 18, 179.S. — While our efi'ccts were being reladen 
and the bateau launched we again sought to find the creeks marked 
on the map, and M. Desjardines, on going northward, came to the 
mouth of Little Sandy creek, which is only an opening in the sand- 

» This tract of country the French company named Gastorland 
(Ihe name having reference to the abundance of beaver) ; and a town 
named Cattnrville, calculated to be the chief town of the colony, was 
laid out on the Beaver river, a few miles from its junction with Black 

f These elevated plateaus were the upper limestone terraces of 
Jefferson County. 

hills where the water within finds an exit to the lake. It is not 
twenty toises wide, and very shallow. We saw in the sand tracks of 
animals and even of men. M. Pharoux, who went southward, saw 
only a continuation of the sand-hills, and, on climbing one, saw on 
the other side the water within and an Indian with his wife in a hark 
canoe; there were two dogs on the bank crying after them. Upon 
making signs to the Indian became to the shore, but to the questions 
addressed to him in English and French he answered only in his own 
lano'uao-e, — which M. Pharoux eould not understand, — at the same 
time pointing towards the north with his finger. We embarked at 
seven o'clock, and, with a south wind, coasted along to gain Point 
Traverse. At eight we observed an opening which we took to he 
that of the Great Sandy creek. The sand which forms the shore is 
very white quartz, and suitable for foundry-mouldings, the scouring 
of utensils, or the sharpening of cutlery. At half-past nine we 
sheered off from a point, and some breakers which indicated a reef of 
rocks, and steered northwest. The shore here changes its aspect, 
and instead of steep sand-hills the bank is low and finely timbered. 
The wind having arisen the waves also increased, and the bateau 
made rapid progress with the sail alone. The pilot, on nearing the 
dangerous passage, took so heavy a draught of rum that he knew not 
what he did, and steered directly towards the breakers. Upon this, 
M. Brunei seized both the helm and the pilot, when the major fell 
drunk at the bottom of the boat. M. Pharoux and Desjardines then 
food each a corner of the sail — to hold it firm to the wind or relax 
it in moments of danger — to the great dismay of the men, who would 
have run the risk of being thrown upon the shore rather than of en- 
countering the open lake ; yet this was our only safety, and the boat 
was sufliciently sound. M. Brunei steered so skillfully that we did 
not ship a single wave ; but our main safety depended upon the mast, 
which bent with the force of the wind. One of our men was so fright- 
ened at the condition of afi'airs that he opened his knife to cut the 
halliards of the sail, but luckily was seen by M. Brunei, who, witt- 
out letting go of the helm, gave him such a rap on the head with a 
hatchet that the fear of present danger overcame that of more distant 
peril, and he returned to duty. Had he succeeded we vpould have been 
lost, as there would have been no means of steerage, and we would 
have been dashed upon the rocks without a chance of safety. Our 
third boatman behaved a little better, as he was in the bow and the 
sail cut off his view of the danger. He aided by watching for reefs 
and in notifying us of what he saw before him. Having passed the 
reef of rocks we observed a small bay, at the head of which is a 
stream called by the English, ' Stony creek,' and on the French maps 
La Riviere de V Asanmption. The wind being quite fresh we soon 
gained Point Traverse, but prudence would not allow us to turn too 
soon on account of the breakers. We continued on a mile in this 
course, and passed midway in the channel between the point and the 
Galloo islands. We had scarcely passed this treacherous point when 
the water became smooth, being sheltered from the winds by islands 
and the high land of the point. We soon landed in a cove formed by 
the shore, half a mile within Point Traverse. We landed at noon, 
built a fire to dry our clothing, and drew our pilot from the boat 
where he lay asleep. He was surprised to find himself again on land 
and alive. Having thoroughly dried we begun business. Point 
Traverse being the beginning of the great bay called by the English 
'Hungry bay;' by the French, ' Baic de Nivernois;' and by the In- 
dians, ' Naiiiare' MM. Pharoux, Desjardines, and Brunei proceeded 
to locate the point ' A' on the map with compass, by taking the 
bearings of the Galloo (Galoup?) islands and the shores of the bay. 
Point Traverse is quite elevated, and is composed of heavy masses of 
rock in horizontal strata. From the point the fehoro is nearly direct 
for a long distance and of the same appearance, resembling an im- 
mense wall, and quite high in some places. From the steepest part 
large masses of rock have fallen, and from among these evergreens 
have grown. The top of the bank boars also trees of the same kind; 
and at the base of these natural walls the waves have worn cavities, 
leaving an infinite number of irregular pillars-upon which the rock 
above seems to bo supported. t 

" Left at half-past one. The shore is steep as far as to point ' B,'^ 
and covered with evergreen-trees, the water being everywhere of 
good depth, allowing barks to come near the shore. We steered 

X Point de la Traverse was evidently Stony point, or the one next 
north in the western part of Henderson. 

I The map referred to is not given in the journal. 



towards the point of the peninsula, 'C,' which was covered with 
trees J but it seemed to us that the interior had been cleared, from 
the dry trees, and the small number that wo saw. The Isthmus of 
this peninsula was entirely bare of timber, and appeared only a. 
beach of sand, across which the Canadians usually drew their canoes 
to avoid the risk and labor of passing around the shore. This 
narrow place hides from view a part of the shoi*e of the bay. Fur- 
ther on it appeared that the clearings were caused by the violence of 
the winds, which had uprooted the trees. We doubled the point * C 
with the wind northwest, and by the help of oars passed the points 
*K*and ' E,* landing at * C ' and * E ' to take observations. We 
then walked along the beach, which was composed of a reddish 
granite, rounded, broken, and worn to the size of peas, forming a 
very pleasant view. We gathered on the shore some shells of fine 
color, of the moUusk kind. Having re-embarked, we rowed until 
half-past lour, and passed some shoals covered with birds; but the 
sky becoming overcast we sought shelter at the point ' 0/ where we 
landed aud pitched our tent. The shore from * K ' to * E ' is quite 
steep, with coarse gravel at the base; but at * E ' the landing is easy. 
The bottom of the shore is composed of horizontal strata of lime- 
stone, and the outline here resembles a bowl. Our landing-place 
being rather steep, and the wind increasing in the night, we heard 
our bateau pounding upon the rocks, which led M. Brunei and one 
of the men to go and draw it into a little nook which they found not 
far ofif. It was fortunate that we were awake, for by morning we 
should have found only the wreck of the bateau. 

"Saturday, October 19. — We had promised ourselves to sleep this 
night on the banks of the Black river, but M. de Zeny knew no 
more about the country than we did, and the maps were all so unre- 
liable that we resolved to follow the windings of the bay as the 
surest means of* not passing it, while we could at the same time 
obtain an exact chart of the bay itself. 

".We did not leave until half-past seven, on account of the rain, 
and then steered for the point ' L.' Finding that there was no river 
at the head of the bay, we proceeded towards ' M.,' where the shore 
was rather steep, and from thence towards 'N,' with the same kind 
of shore and a good landing. We coasted along from this point 
southeast, anJ, having passed it, found ourselves in a wide chan- 
nd, like the entrance of a great river. After advancing a mile, the 
passage was still wide and deep, and the shores lined with marshes. 
It then diminished in depth and width till we had but three feet of 
water, with a muddy bottom, and it was so narrow that we were 
convinced it could not be the object of our search. We, however, 
landed at an Indian hut, as they frequent this place to hunt and fish; 
but we reached the shore with difficulty through the marshes and 

''Our explorers returned, having found nothing but some billets of 
wood and brands of a fire before a bark hut- They had also found a 
brook at the head of the wide entrance, and heard the noise of a fall 
which it made a little way up. We had great need of patience, and, 
embarking again at half-past nine, we reached the point ' P' at ten. 
The kind of false entrance which the English call 'Muddy river' 
justifies this title. We landed, got breakfast, and rested. At eleven 
we started again, and sailed round to point * Q,' and then to ' R,' where 
we found ourselves in a little bay full of marshes imd shoals, where 
we could scarcely enter. The rain now began to interrupt our ob- 
servations, and the winds and waves increased so that it was neces- 
sary to find shelter. 

" From this point we could see on our course the point of the false 
bay, and an Indian's hut, shaped like a tent, with two canoes on the 
beach. The shore here formed a wide bay, bounded with limestone 
and loose masses of granite, and where the soil was washed by the 
waves it was full of thin, flat stones, of a calcareous variety. There 
was a sand-bar on which we struck, and M. de Zen3', observing that 
the weather was threatening, did not wish to run the risks by turning 
the point 'S,* that lay before us; so he gave orders in English to his 
men to run ashore, — a welcome command, which was executed before 
we could prevent it. We had only time to leap into the water to 
steady and check the bateau, so as to keep it from being filled by 
the waves, before it was landed. It was fortunate that our second 
shock, like the first, was upon fine sand, so that nothing was injured. 
While some were busy with the bateau and the others were kindling 
a fire, M. Besjardines, by going along the shore, found behind point 
*S' a little bay, where we could haul out the bateau very easily. 
Still seeing a stretch of water on his right, he continued on, till he 

found that the point ' T' was a peninsula, which only joined the main 
shore by a tongue of gravel six feet wide, and beyond this he found 
the mouth of Black river, distinctly marked by its two banks receding 
in the dit=tanco from the bay. He hastened to announce his discovery 
to MM. Pharoux and Brunei, and led them to the spot, but took 
care to say nothing to M. de Zeny, whom they proposed to bring to 
the Black river on the morrow without notice, while he had all along 
been promising to lead us thither; but, in fact, he began to doubt 
where we were, or in what way we should go. Behind the beach 
where we landed there was a marshy plain, and we returned to the 
boat through a wooded place. Our fire had drawn an Indian, hia wife, 
and two children t'» visit us. They were all clothed in woolen 
blankets fastened with belts, and the father had u, good gun, which 
he leaned against a tree a few paces from us. This family understood 
a few words of English, and in reply to questions in French, said 
that they were MiHuleagneft, a tribe living north of the lakes Ontario 
and Brie. We gave them some peas and lard, which they accepted, 
and after asking for tobacco, they left us showing signs of satisfaction. 

" The rest of the day was spent in making observations at ' S' and 
in fishing. We changed our clothing completely, and dried our 

^'Siuuhty, October 20, — Bad weather detained us till eight o'clock, 
when M. Brunei took the helm, and we steered to double the point 
' T,' which we passed by rowing, although with a strong head wind. 
At ten, the sky being still overcast, we landed upon our tract, at a 
high bank, and breakfasted. Here we informed M. de Zeny that we 
were on our own territory, and at the mouth of Black river. Left at 
eleven. The shore is composed of fiat limestone, with bowlders of 
granite here and there, which appeared to have been brought there 
by the storms of the lake or the current of the river. The soil is thin 
on the banks, but further in it becomes deep, and bears a fine growth 
of timber. Sailing with a south-southwest wind in a northeast 
course, at a quarter-past twelve the dark-colored water apprised us 
that we had met the current of the Black river, and following this oa 
our guide, we came to si. place where the water was quite shallow. 
The passage here enlarged, forming a, large, almost circular basin, 
full of reeds and shoals, where we saw great numbers of cranes and 
ducks; but after passing the bar we found twenty feet of water in 
the channel, with a bottom of red sand sprinkled with grains of iron, 
and presently the true entrance of the river came in view. We saw 
two small, high, rocky islets, forming three openings like the ancient 
ruins of a natural bridge, which formed a very striking view in con- 
trast with the obscurity of the woods, the dusky hue of the waters, 
and the romantic barriers of rock. We landed at one of these natu- 
ral piles, and climbed to the top to view the bay, the lake, and the 
river; and after enjoying this majestic prospect, we re-embarked to 
continue up the river. A little beyond we met with an island covered 
with the trees of this region, and saw the land on our left shaded by 
a young copse, while a little beyond the river becomes narrower. 
The banks are formed of beds of flat limestone with shells in the 
cleavage, and the bed of the river is paved with the same. We 
noticed on the left a channel which we took at first for a creek, but 
found to be one of the arms of the river, that forms a large island at 
this place, it being actually dry in some places and worn in the same 
rock. The bottom, along which we walked, is perfectly level. The 
vigorous vegetation indicated an excellent soil, and we measured a 
maple-tree more than twelve feet around. Opposite this island, on 
the right, is a small stream. Further on the river is bordered with 
low grounds without rock, but the cliffs reappear beyond, and then 
appears a basin with a little plat of earth before the mouth of a dry 
creek, and an island cut in two by a fissure filled with gravel, which 
becomes a channel in high water. Each side of this islet has a strong 
rapid, which we tried to pass on one side by drawing, but failed, and 
finally, with much difficulty, succeeded on the other side in drawing 
our boat up into the basin above, and found there fifteen feet of 
water. At the head of the island we found a mass of trees and 
rocks, which by lodging there had probably caused the rapid* In 
the basin we saw another islet opposite the mouth of a creek, which 
had considerable water. This double basin formed a very agreeable 
spot. From this basin we entered the channel of the river, which a 
little way off hid itself between steep masses of rock, overhung with 
evergreens, forming a very gloomy passage. As night came on, we 
encamped on a little intervale of about an acre, which we found 
among the cliffs, and having secured the boat, arranged our tent, and 
caught some catfish and lake-bass, — an excellent fish, much resembling 



the sea-bass. Finally, we supped, and slept for the first time on our 
own domains. 

"Monday, October 21.— Left at eight and ascended half a mile, sur- 
mounting a difficult rapid, but with plenty of water, and half a mile 
further found a very strong rapid, and after landing upon the rocks 
and trying in vain to drag the boat OA-er it with ropes, gave up the 
attempt, lest the ropes should break and let the boat dash against the 
rocks, leaving us alone in the wilderness. We then mounted on foot, 
climbing from rock to rock in order to see as much as we could of 
the river, which continued still deep, and walled in between great 
m.asses of limestone rock. This stone is of a bluish tint and excel- 
lent for building, and, although bard, it cleaves handsomely. We 
found some stones which gave indications of iron, and the sand itself 
is reddish, and filled with particles of iron, which tends to render the 
water still darker. We found some pyrites, brown within and black 
outside, which gave sparks with steel, and emitted a bituminous odor. 
We walked about a mile along the rocks with much difBculty, and 
came to an island, and a dry creek on the right, and saw many violent 
rapids, and finally a fall, which entirely barred our passage. 

" The rain now began to fall, which caused us to return to the boat 
at the last night's camp, where we arranged the tent more substan- 
tially, intending to make some sojourn at this place. We felled trees, 
unloaded the boat, and built a shelter as a magazine, and opened our 
casks of biscuit, which had become mouldy, to dry them by the fire, 
as also our clothes and effects. In this little nook in the rocks we 
were quite sheltered from high winds or the falling of trees, which 
the tempests overturned on the high lands around us. During the 
night the river arose about six feet, and we got up frequently to look 
after the boat, which, without this care, might have been swept away. 
" We caught several white-fish, and M. Brunei killed two American 
pheasants, which resembled the wood-hens of Europe. We also caught 
a kind of salamander, much larger than tbe European, being a foot 
long, including the tail. This amphibian had four paws, and a head 
much like that of a lizard, and fastened itself so firmly to the rock 
that our men could scarcely pull it off with the line, and thought they 
had taken a very large fish. We found in the vicinity some moose- 
wood, so called because the eZaii, which the Canadians call the ori- 
ginal, and the Americans the moose-deer, is very fond of it. It is a 
very pliant bush, mucilaginous like the mallows, and its bark will 
make cords of great strength, and impervious to water. We made 
one of it for our boat. The wood, which is very soft and spongy, 
made good floats for our lines from lack of better. 

" Tnetihiy, Oclnber 22.— A. heavy rain in the morning, with hail, so 
that we could only go and reconnoitre in the intervals of fair weather. 
The upper part of the soil is sandy, and the country was burned over 
some thirty years ago, so that the timber is all of about that age, e-xcept 
the maples and walnuts, which escaped the flames. The sand is fer- 
tile, and the hnmua is at least a foot deep in some places, so that it is 
capable of yielding as good crops as a soil more compact, while it is 
easier to cultivate. Beyond the evergreen-trees which thickly cover 
the banks, the land becomes better, .and we found groves of maple, 
interspersed with ash, walnut, etc., of great size ; and, contrary to the 
usual order, the poorest soil was along the river-banks, where the rock 
not only comes to the surface, but is full of dangerous crevices, con- 
cealed by mosses and woody plants. 

"From ten in the morning until one in the afternoon we were ex- 
ploring the basin that we traversed on Sunday, and the location of 
which appeared to us favorable for a city, if the bar would allow a 
passage for vessels, the depth of Black river-from seventeen to 
twenty feet-being suflicient to bring sloops and schooners as far as 
the foot of the rapids of the upper basin. We took notice of all the 
advantages of this location, its quays cut from stones by the hand 
of nature, the surface entirely of rock, and raised a dozen feet above 
the water; and in the interval between the upper and lower basins 
the city might receive from the upper the products of the mills on 
the falls and rapids, while from the lower they could bring the pro 
ducts of the lake, and send off their exports. The dryness of the 
soil promised salubrity, while the land rising in hills around the har- 
bor would display the city to advantage. On digging pits we found 
stone suitable for building and for lime; and clay is not distant for 
brick; but all these advantages are nothing unless the passage is 
practicable, because the commerce of the lake requires keeled vessels 
and If need be we must place it on the bay, or some of the natural 
coves, of which there are several. 
"Wednesday, October 23.-Early in the morning we decided that 

M. Pharoux should start with one of the men, and some provisions, 
to follow up the Black river for a couple of days, in the hope of reach- 
ing the settlements of the Baron Steuben, which we believed to be 
thirty miles distant, or of finding some log houses, where the inhab- 
itants might give some information. In the mean time we were to 
examine the environs of our camp, and make preparations for return- 
ing. We accordingly made several excursions into the woods, while 
the men were busy in mending the boat, and in making a new mast 
and a large steering-paddle. M. Pharoux left at seven o'clock, with 
Briton, one of the boatmen, loaded with three days' provisions, and 
armed with a gun, a hatchet, a flint and etecl, and blankets. At half- 
past seven he came to the great fall, as far up as we had been, and at 
eight he reached the head of the rapid. Beyond this, crossing a dry 
creek paved with flat rock, he went up the stream a quarter of an 
hour, and found the soil good, with young timber of lofty growth. 
The fall on the river was a succession of rapids. Saw a rapid pass- 
able by a boat, and a little above a fall, with the banks, of rock from 
thirty-six to forty-two feet above the water. At 8.20 another fall, and 
at 8.30 another, and then rapids. At 8.36 a fall of about ten feet, the 
banks here showing the debrin of great disturbances. At 8.45 a larger 
fall, in three sections, the middle one narrowed by broken rocks, 
which broke up the current. At 9.05 a large and long fall. The gen- 
eral course of the river in ascending was eastward, but it is quite 
crooked in places. At 9.15 descended the rock in a convenient place 
on the right of a fall, where the sides are less steep, the rock sloping 
under the stream so as to give it greater swiftness, with a sheet, or cas- 
cade below. The gutters worn in the rock have also a cascade. The 
banks on our side are low, as also on the other, with masses of timber 
lodged by the waters. The easterly course has changed to the south- 
east. At 10.5 another fall, or violent rapid, with receding banks, and 
large masses of flat stone on the left, and a little further on the right 
the river turns towards the southeast and then east. It then forms a 
succession of rapids, in the middle of which is a mass of rock. At 
10.40 the river was about fifty toises wide, southeast turning east, and 
a small rapid. A fine stony beach, and pleasant basin of still water; 
at 10.45 a small stream of running water, and beds of overhanging 
rock. The land low, with a fine vegetation. At 10.50 another beach. 
The river turns southeast, with moose-wood on the banks, and large 
maples, ash, oak, and walnut trees. The river is wide and rapid. 
At n a hill, then a valley, and low grounds, and a large stream with 
flat, rocky bed. A little beyond the current is stronger, and trees 
fallen in numbers. 

"At n.25 the river fine and wide. Soil good, but better on the 
right. Course S.S.E. Banks straight, rocky, and a hundred toises 

"At 11.40 a wide rapid. Course east. The still water forms a 
little cove on each side. At 11.50 a great rapid, with rocky islets 
in the middle, uprooted trees, and heaps of Eand on the shore, where 
it is overflowed in freshets. At noon we saw a great cascade in the 
distance, broken rock, forming an island, through which the water 
flows. The smaller channel on the right,* a rocky clilf on the left, 
and narrowing of the river above, where it tarns to the northeast. 
Low ground on the right and high on the left. Two ravines, with 
banks, then another ravine, obstructed with masses of trees. At 12.50 
the great cascade, of which the torrent is on the left side, with » 
branch on the right, and a large rocky island, covered with pines. 
Land low on the right, but steep at the bottom of the fall, and high 
on the left. The cascade forms a cloud of mist. At 1 we gained the 
head of the fall, where the swift water announces the upper falls. At 
1.15 the river turns, and the land is steep on our side. Course eiist, 
turning southeast, the land forming a very high hill, and the vegeta- 
tion fine. At 1.25 the stream is parted by an island, with two falls 
at the head. The rocks are much broken and fissured on our side. 
A little above, a great fall of ten feet, with a littlo bar at the side ot 
the island. At 1.34, the branches of the river very swift, and the 
course east, turning southeast. A largo and fine island ; land good 
and low, with a fine vegetation. At the end o£ the island is another 
cascade, stronger and higher on the right than on the left. 

" At 2 o'clock, about a hundred steps above another island, cov- 
ered with trees, the largest channel being on our side; soil good and 
low. Dined here. Before reaching the other end of the island a loag 
sheet of water. At 2.45 a large fall and rapid, with two flat masses 

The falls at Watertown. 



of rook. At 3 a rapid fall ; course east, and the point of the island 
not yet in sight. Observed another branch towards the north, and 
this meeting of the waters forms a groat uproar and disturbance. 
The land beyond this junction appears low, with no more rock. Tho 
other branch has a northeast course, and what I took for a river is 
only a small branch of Black river. Soil good upon both sides and on 
the island, to which one might pass from rock to rook, across the 
little branch. Beyond this the river becomes smooth. At .3.45 turned 
along the branch, which has a course almost north. A light rnpid be- 
yond the first island. The river is wide and the land on both sides 
low, with a fine vegetation. At half-past five, the river still smooth. 
Made a fire. Took a light supper and slept in my blanket. It froze 
during the night. This place is very fine. 

" Thursday, October 25. — Resumed labors at half-past seven, fol- 
lowing the left bank of Black river, which still continues about as 
wide as the Seine at Point Royal, the water flowing very quietly. 
The land is low and the soil good on both sides. More rocks and 
strong vegetation. At 7.35 three large trees, cut with an, and in- 
dications of a fire lately made. Course of the river northeast. At 
7.45 a small island, with trees piled up by the current at the upper 
point. Another smaller island, the larger branch on our side. A dry 
creek and good land along its course. At 8 n little island on the 
right. At 8.15 a wooded island on the right side, and at 8.30 a large 
wooded island, the larger branch on the left. A little further, a dry 
creek, with the adjoining lands a little elevated. It runs in at the 
wider branch. Course of. the river more easterly. Ascended the 
creek, which has a northeasterly course, in a line of water and swamps. 
At 8.55 the river narrows, and high lands are met. Heard the noise 
of another fall. The river flows over fiat rockj course northeast. 
At 9.30 the channel narrows, with the same kind of banks of rock. 

"Started at 9.55, after breakfast. At 10 a very strong rapid. 
Stony on the right and broken rock on the left. At 10.10 another 
rapid; turns east. At 10.20 a rocky bank and sheets of rock on the 
left, torn up by the torrent, which here bends towards the south, and 
then to the At 10.25 another rapid, announcing a fall. At 10.35 
a large fall. Course northeast. Banks quite high. At 10.45 another 
fall on the left. For the space of 300 toises it is rapid, and other falls 
are heard. I went no further than to get a view of the fall in the 
distance. I then directed my course towards the northwest, through 
the woods. The most of these lands are level, with some swamps. 
I observed trees cut with an a.'te. At the right of the great fall the 
land is more broken, with the banks and rocks covered with evergreen- 
trees. Supped and slept before a rousing fire, near the great falls,* 
and about ten miles from camp. 

" Friday, October 26. — Started at half-past six with Briton. Tho 
road was terribly rough over the rocks and among the junipers and 
hemlocks. Arrived at the tent at half-past nine. We had begun to 
be uneasy about our explorers, and, finding ourselves together and 
everything ready for a start, we took breakfast and set out at eleven. 
Passed again the basin suitable for the site of a city. Passed with 
difficulty the rapid which separates the two basins. The island is on 
our side. Arrived at the entrance, and the wind proved so contrary 
that we were forced to lay by among the rocks of a little peninsula 
which the river there forms. It came on to rain heavily, and we re- 
gretted our nook among the rocks, where we had beeu so well shel- 
tered. Pitched our tent among the red cedars. The rain having 
slackened, we penetrated with some difRcuUy among the rooks and 
fallen trees till we came to the other side of the peninsula, where we 
found quite a large hollow, doubtless the remains of a bay, filled in 
by the debris of the river and lake, piled into this nook by the north- 
west winds. There was also an enormous mass of trees, forming a 
barrier which closed up the valley, and they were scattered along 
from the peninsula to another point, about a mile distant. M. Brunei 
crossed it in going to a tree on the other side. These fallen trees were 
covered with blackbirds, who appeared to have chosen this spot as a 
rendezvous and point of departure. We saw, from this place in the 
bay, some flocks of herons, white as snow, ranged in a line along the 
shoals, and busily engaged in fishing. We also saw some storks, wild 
geese, and ducks of several kinds. This bay, being well stocked with 
fish and full of shoals, is attractive to aquatic birds. We returned 
along the beach to our camp, thus making the tour of our little penin- 
sula, and discovering that the Black river, instead of catering directly 
into the bay, flows along the shore about a mile, kept in bounds by 

» At these falls Pharoux was afterwards drowned. 

shoals, and makes a curve in reaching the middle of the bay. In the 
bright sunlight the dark color of the river flowing through the bay 
enabled us to trace its course for some distance out. Meanwhile, 
since M. de Zeny was urging our return, we decided, instead of ex- 
ploring the passage, to improve the little time we had by steering 
across the shoals to reach the shore on our own territory. We had 
had since morning a dry, electrical fog, which, as M. de Zeny in- 
formed us, indicated frosty weather with certainty; and, if we did 
not wish to winter in Canada, we must hasten to return, lest the ice 
should close the passage against our boat. Not knowing the country, 
we were cautious, and resolved to set out on our return to-morrow, 
with as little delay as possible." 


The first acoount on record of the appearance of the 
Black river at Carthage is given in the " Castorland Jour- 
nal," under date of July 21, 1794: 

" Mtniday, July 21, 1794. — After finishing the translation of Mr. 
Webster's Field Book, I set out to visit the head of the falls, at 10.28, 
taking two men along, and two days' provisions in the canoe. I ar- 
rived at the head of the falls at about twenty minutes past one. The 
river is here quite wide, but somewhat encroached upon by rocks of 
iL reddish color on the right bank. The river above the head of the 
falls forms a great basin, which narrows at once at the place where 
the rocks first appear. The falls are, from first to last, only a kind of 
rapid, with a slope of about two feet [in a chain], with rock on both 
sides and in the middle. At this place the current divides into two 
branches, and forms an island in the middle. The falls then enlarge 
into a vast basin, sprinkled with an immense number of rocks and 
rocky islets, the soil of which is strong, and covered with evergreen- 
trees. The basin has a wide contour, with a direction, at first, towards 
the north, and then to the west. The whole appears to be inundated 
at time of high water, from above, and the overflowing waters find 
passages and form currents in low places, where the channels are 
now dry. The surface is very unequal, cut up and broken with 
granite rock, and covered with cedars and hemlocks. 

"I spent two hours in going around the basin, which has every- 
where rapids, and then came to still water, on the borders of a great 
plain covered with hemlocks. On a bank which rises above this plain 
we saw many traces of Indian habitations. The river has a north- 
northwest course from the foot of the falls, and then bears to tho 
north. At the place where the Indians had encamped we had a very 
fine view of the islands in the rapids, and the course of the still water 
below. The islands of the Long Falls are innumerable, and at a 
single point of view it is impossible to form a correct idea of the 
basin. . . The rock in which it is worn is a reddish granite, 
striking fire with steel, and with strata highly inclined. A pocket- 
compass on being placed on them was attracted. 

" From the basin I walked along the river for about an hour j the 
water all the way still; but u, little beyond I came to a fall of some 
two feet, which it would be possible to run down in a canoe. It is 
formed by a ridge of rock, that retains the water, and one might 
here pass by fording, following the line of rocks. The river here 
turns towards the north. Went still about half an hour's walk fur- 
ther to observe the direction, and found that it turns northwest, the 
water being still for quite a long distance. I judged from the ap- 
pearance of the highlands in the distance that we could not be far 
from the furtherest point I had reached the year before, and it may 
be that this is the still water I had seen above the lower rapids. 

" Set out for camp. Saw a good place to run the road in the 
hemlock plain ; but the soil is very poor. We had to cross several 
places that had been overflowed, and channels, now dry, which the 
floods have worn. The wood is principally whits cedar. Arrived at 
night, much fatigued, at the head of the Long Falls, but found 
neither tent nor fire prepared by little Jacques, whom I had left for 
this service. I had great difl[iculty in starting a fire. The weather 
was clear, and the north wind made the night very cold. I slept in 
an Indian hut, near which I found the skeleton of a beaver.'' 

The first map of the river afc Carthage was drawn by 
Simon Desjardines, who thus describes his adventures : 

" Wednenday, August 6. — On the Survey. — Spent the day in drawing 
plans of the falls and rapids, passing across the rocks, the falls, and 



the rapids ; and nfter slipping, and tumbling into the water, my legs 
were blistered. The operation was continued until nightfall. Found, 
but not without difficulty, a place to recross to our side, and followed 
the road along the falls in the dark to reach camp, when, happily, at 
midway, we met them coming to seek us, by the light of fat pine 
torches. There only remains to draw the sides at some places, and 
the point of the island above. I could hardly slcep,_from fatigue, 
and the pain endured from my blistered legs." 

The French surveyors of 1794 encountered great trouble 
from mutiny, desertion, sickness, and death. The following 
account of these miseries is from the " Castorland Journal :" 

" Wednesday, Sept. 10. — Continued my route, and arrived at ten 
o'clock at the camp above the Long Falls, where I found Mr. Frey, 
the surveyors, and all the men but four, declaring their intention of 
abandoning us, under the pretext of sickness or unwillingness to re- 
main. Mr. Cantine's party had arrived, having left behind and 
abandoned three men sick with a bloody flux. I went at once to the 
place with Mr. Broadhead, and we brought them in upon a kind of 
litter. The men and surveyors had for three days been doing nothing, 
and I charged Mr. Webster with both falsehood and idleness, as he 
had done nothing since the 28th of August. I blamed him for 
having left me ignorant of the alleged sickness of his men, who had, 
however, been well enough to devour their provisions in advance, 
and I required of Mr. Frey a certificate that his hired men had left 
before the completion of their work, which he signed in the presence 
of Mr. Broadhead, who also signed it as a witness. The result of this 
mutiny was that all the men, on the demand of Mr. "Webster forthree 
days' provisions, left us together in the evening. I refused the canoe 
to Mr. "Webster and paid him nothing, but agreed to settle with him 
on the return of M. Desjardines, and, for the expenses of his journey, 
came to an agreement that it should be decided by Mr. De "Witt. I 
went with Mr. Frey to the camp above the fall.s, to prevent them from 
taking the canoes and provisions from that place, and, after passing all 
the men over to the other side of the river, we returned at night by 
the light of a flambeau, made of hickory bark. At midway we met 
a light that Mr. Broadhead was bringing to direct our course. He 
informed us of the death of little "Vanverkell, qne of our men, who 
had died from the bloody flux, his comrades having given him, after 
the American fashion, rum, with an infusion of astringent roots. I 
regretted this the more as this young and excellent boy had been as 
docile as the others were bad. "We learned that Lindsay and Warren 
were staying with the corpse, and watching with "Ward, another man 
who was also sick with the flux. 

" Thursday, Sept. 11. — Directed » grave to be dug for the corpse, 
and sent Mr. Frey with the canoe to bring it; but, instead of return- 
ing, he sent one of his men to inform me that he was going to bury 
the body on the spot, and take care of AVard, to bring him to camp. 

" M. fi. Desjardines and I watched with Mr. Cantine, who is a 
little better. This disease, which was greatly aggravated by fear 
and by discouragement from desertions, is but little dangerous when 
the sick are treated rationally, and made to driiik freely of ice-water, 
but it is fatal if they persist in drinking rum, and especially if they 
continue to eat salt pork, which is the principal, if not the only food 
they can get in the woods. 

" This disease every year takes off a great many Americans in the 
new settlements, and it is regarded as an epidemic on account of its 
fearful ravages. 

"Friday, September 12. — Messrs. Frey and Broadhead brought in 
the sick man "Ward. "Warren, one of our men, declares himself at- 
tacked. All the men remaining with us engage to stay until the end 
of our operations. Agreed with Mr. Frey that wo should take the 
sick up to the High Falls, and that in the mean time three men should 
stay in camp, under the direction of M. G. Desjardines, and spend 
their time in washing and mending as well their own clothes as those 
that belonged to the men who went with us." 

The "CastorlaDd agents began the first mill at Carthage 
late in the summer of 1795, and the following extracts 
from their journal will show the early steps of their 
enterprise : 

" Sunday, August 0.— . . . Started at seven o'clock, after re-cm- 
barking our things, which had been sheltered from the rain by our 
tent and two tarpaulins. The great new canoe takes in much water, 

and will need to be calked. Arrived at the Long Falls at eleven 
o'clock; landed our things, and arranged our tent, with the tarpau- 
lins on the upper side. In the mean time M. Pharoux and the first 
carpenter went to select a site for the mill. As the water was very 
low this year, and as «e had found all the little strea:ms dry on our 
route, we apprehended that there would not be found water enough 
at the place we had selected, but we found there more than enough, 
and the location is very fine. Below this there is another place very 
good for a corn-mill. The cost of sluices will be a small item, the 
rock coming up in very fragile masses, so that the excavation of the 
canal will be easy. 

"After dinner we continued to arrange our camp. Went fishing, 
and found ourselves quite as much at ease as we could expect to be 
in the woods. 

"Monday, August 10. — Sent back Cross and Eobinson in the canoe 
to get provisions at the High Falls, and with them was sent a letter, 
informing M. Desjardines of our operations. Had some trees cut 
down and cleared a place for the log-house at the mill. Placed and 
leveled the foundation logs of the house. The great number of large 
trees, the roughness of the ground, which is encumbered with rock, the 
want of cattle, and the scanty supply of help occasioned many delays. 
Nature has indicated the place for a supply canal. We only want 
some powder and a couple of men who are accustomed to work in 
mines. The surface indicates that the rock will be easy to raise. 

" Tuesday, August 11. — Repaired the old oven below the falls and 
baked in it. The waters at Meridian Rock are at the same level as 
last year. At the landing they are not quite as high as at the foot 
of the oven, so that we may here construct what will serve as a land- 
ing for all who may come from below. We have leveled an excelltnt 
spring, which may be easily brought to the mill-house. Our work- 
men have labored well, and all the beams are hewed. 

" Thursday, August 13. — They have entirely finished flooring the log 
house. In the evening M. Tassart arrived in the large canoe, and 
brought us three letters that Mr. Broadhead had sent : one from M. 
Pharoux's father, one from M. Tardif, master-mason in St. Domingo, 
who seeks employment from us, and the third from Mr. Constable. 
This letter promised us no more satisfaction from him than we had 
got from his agents and associates. An hour after this Cross arrived 
with the two Indians, bringing with him the cattle, which had met 
with no accident. 

" Friday, August 14. — After breakfast they yoked the cattle to 
draw logs, and took advantage of so many men being together to 
raise the building. The cable and pulleys which we have received are 
not of much use. In the evening saw a water-snake . . . with its 
head out of water, holding a fish in its mouth. Saw also a large 
green adder four feet long. In the afternoon, the fire of the clearing 
having gained around the log house, the time required in checking it 
prevented us from finishing it. It now wants but two courses of logs. 

"Saturday, August 16. — After breakfast MM. Pharoux and Tas- 
sart with a supply of provisions set out in a canoe for the High Falls. 
M. Pharoux wished to show on the way to M. Tassart the portionof 
land which commissioners had indicated to M. Olive for his 4050 
acres, as the most advantageous of the 20,000 acres from which he 
was to select, according to his agreement. . . Finished raising the 
log house, which will be covered with bark by the Indians on the 
return of M. Pharoux. The two carpenters have worked upon the 
frame of the roof, while I have caused to be transported all the things 
at the camp to the log house, where wo are now settled. We all 
slept this night in our new camp. 

" Mauday, August 17. — Employed the men in cutting bushes and 
felling trees between the house and the river along the falls, and in 
helping the carpenters raise the last logs and joists. There are now 
only the rafters to put up. 

" Wednesday, August lO.^They placed the rafters on the log house, 
and made the oxen draw all the logs that would bo needed for car- 
penter's wood, when they put fire to the rest of the clearing behind 
the log house. The carpenters sawed the openings for the windows 
on the left side, and put in the frame. In the afternoon the other 
window-frame was placed. . . . 

" Thursday, August 20. — A heavy rain, which quieted everything 
at the house. The fires kindled yesterday around the camp bad, 
notwithstanding our vigilance, threatened danger, and we had to 
water several times the space formed to separate us from them. The 
fire ran underground from root to root, and could not have been 
reached unless by this rain, so that our men wore well pleased with 



it. After the rain abated they went fishing, with the exception of 
the first carpenter and Robinson, who went to get the door of the log 
house, which had not been brought from the camp at the landing, 
and which they put in its place. Our men at last returned from their 
fishing, and were quite willing to take up the axe. After dinner the 
carpenter placed the logs and floor for the foundation of an oven. 
They made, with Allen, n hand-barrow to carry stones for the oven 
and the chimney, of which the hearth had been begun yesterday. 
The courses of the hearth have been laid in a very good clay, that we 
fortunately found near at hand. The stone is not so good, as it breaks 
easily, and does not i-esist the fire. M. Pharoux arrived at six in the 
evening, with the two Indians, thoroughly wet, but in good health. 

"Friday, Awjust 21. — The first carpenter, with the help of Allen, 
laid up the stone at the back of our chimney, while the second car- 
penter and llobinson brought clay on a hand-barrow. Trueman 
brought stones. . . . After dinner the chimney was finished, and they 
began the oven. The two Indians, although much fatigued with row- 
ing in the rain, went to work last evening as soon as they arrived, 
witllbut our having occasion to speak with them. To-day they have 
cut and placed the poles which are to support the bark of the roof. . . . 
** Sntnrdayf Augnat 22. — Had them split and dress planks, to make 
a partition in our log house. The Indians have entirely covered it 
with large barks, fastened on with cords of basswood bark, which 
serves in place of ropes. The newly finished oven has been kept 
constantly warm and attended by Trueman. Peck has been attacked 
with the dysentery and is put on a regimen of ice-water. 

" Tnenday, Auyust 25. — Cleared, trimmed, and set fire to clear out 
the road which is to be used in getting timber to the mill. Finished 
the closets, the two doors, and •-*■ floor over ours. The two Indians 
closed with scraped bark the opening by the side of the chimney. 
They then brought clay from the river and filled the joints between 
the logs. 

" Wednesday, August 26. — The Indians finished putting in the strips 
of wood and plastering with clay the chinks of the log house. They 
then made a shelter of bark over the oven. The carpenters and 
Allen have hewed timber for the mill. . . . The clearing begins to 
enlarge. They made as many fires as they could along the line of 
the canal to break up the rock by the action of fire. 

" Thursday, Angvst "2,1. — Employed all the men in cutting down 
and squaring timber. The two carpenters, working on a strife, our 
work is more advanced. M. Pharoux has verified the plan of the 
falls which he made last year. 

"Friday, Ang\i8t2B, — The same work as yesterday. Our first bar- 
rel of fiour is consumed to-day. It lasted ten persons, on an average, 
eighteen days, which is about a pound and a quarter of bread a day 
to each. 

'' Saturday, August 29. — "Work the same. Still much emulation 
between the two parties. The old Indian being lame, we have em- 
ployed him in fishing, but he brought in nothing but a little white- 
fish. The river is nut as well stocked with fish here as at the High 

"Sunday, August 30. — Our Indians have started in the little canoe 
to return to the High Falls, and from thence to their homes. Last night 
two of our workmen traded their own share of rum with them for 
their moccasins, and our Indians drank beyond measure, so that 
they waked us up in the middle of the night to demand of us some 
rum, offering to pay us; but we refused them, as was ncces.-^ary. 
They replied that they would go off then in the morning. They 
have accordingly kept their word, although ashamed of their fault 
and apparently sorry to leave us. We neither reproached them nor 
took any steps to detain them, and as they left us we gave them the 
parting band. After they had gone we scolded the men who had 
traded with them as being the cause of their drunkenness. These 
Indians had no other fault; but when once they had drank beyond 
reason they will always have more, and if drunkenness makes them 
commit some folly their proud and independent spirits will not permit 
them to make amends. 

" Monday, August Zl. — Allen, who was indisposed, has been attacked 
by the fever. M. Pharoux, in the letter that he gave to the Indians 
for Baptiste, requested him to send down, by Mr. Broadhead, ipecac 
and rhubarb. The same work of cutting and hewing timber. Found 
many young plum-trees, with red fruit, near the camp, above the 
falls. We propose to plant some of them this fall at the High 

" Ttic'sdny, September 1. — Allen is a little better. Our oxen, about 

which we have been uneasy, returned of their own accord in the 
afternoon. . . . Work the same as 3'esterday. 

" Thursday, Sepfe7>ibfr 3. — The weather being rainy, we ordered 
Peck and Robinson to bring into the log house the wood needed for 
kitchen-tables, oars, tool-handles, etc. . . . 

"Friday, September 4. — Fell timber, cut it into logs, and ranged 
the wood near the house, in the place that is to be the yard. In the 
afternoon Dixon and Trueman cut down and sawed some oak, to be 
used in the machinery. . . . 

" Saturday, September 5. — Cleared out the place of the yard near 
the house, so as to be able to superintend the work more easily. 
Had the oxen draw a part of the square timber, which is piled in the 
new yard. Dixon worked on parts of the machinery, and made four 

" Wednesday, September 9. — Dixon made a large wooden horse for 
sawing, and did not need help in cutting down oak-trees. Still look- 
ing for the oxen without success. Miide a road to connect the one 
of last year with the new one. The river is much swollen. 

" Thursday, September 10. — After dinner M. Pharoux set out for 
the High Falls with Allen, who is still sick, and who will go home. 
. . Dixon made some posts for the mill, and then began a little 
sled to draw framing-timber more easily. Trueman, having brought 
back the oxen, drew some sticks to the yard. 

" Friday, September 11. — Had them draw the square timber to the 
yard. The carpenters finished the little sled, and then worked on 
the machinery of the mill. 

"Monday, September 14. — Trueman went to find the cattle, and 
brought them in to finish drawing square timber to the yard. The 
carpenter was employed on the little pieces of the mill. . . . M. 
Pharoux arrived at eight o'clock in the evening with five men. The 
waters are very high. 

" Tuesday, Sep)temher 15. — Caused some logs to be drawn to make 
a forge, and transported the provisions and tools. The forge is 
almost entirely raised. Cut down some pines to split for floors. 

" Wednesday, September 16. — A great rain, which prevented the 
workmen from splitting planks to cover the forge. Peck and 
Robinson tried in vain to peel some bark. M. Pharoux and Dixon 
improved some intervals and set stakes for the mill-race, which will 
pAss in front of the house, to avoid a ditch that might be too long 
and expensive. Our men were employed in making wooden pins. 
Washed, oiled, and mended the forge bellows. Made scaffolding and 
other structures, so as to employ all hands on the roof. In the after- 
noon cut wood to make a coal-pit. Cleared out from the head of the 
projected canal some great pieces of dead wood which the river had 
thrown in. M. Pharoux took the level from the upper part of the 
canal to the lower end. Cut some rafters to cover the smith's shop. 
At seven in the evening M. Tassart arrived with letters, and inform- 
ing us of the return of my brother at the High Falls. 

*' Thursday, Se^jtemher 17. — We had the cattle draw up some large 
pine blocks, to split into boards for covering the blacksmith-shop. 
The men were employed in cutting wood, some for the coal-pit, the 
rest along the line of the canal. At nine in the evening Mr. Broad- 
head at last arrived, with all his men in good health. 

" Saturday, September 19. — At seven o'clock this morning Messrs. 
Pharoux, Broadhead, and company set out, happy and in good health. 
. . . We have covered a part of the forge with planks, and will finish 
the roof with plank split from white cedar. They worked on the coal- 
pit, which will be finished to-morrow. Had some square timber drawn 
up, this being a pressing necessity, as the cattle must be sent back to 
the High Falls, where they are much needed for the wagons. 

" Sunday, September 20. — The river having risen considerably, I 
sent the carpenter with some ropes to the camp at the landing to se- 
cure our canoes in case of need. ... It rained incessantly. 

" Monday, September 21. — The rain continuing, I had the bench 
and wooden horses bi'ought in, so as to occupy the men under cover. 
. . . The weather having cleared up I sent two men to the coal-pit, 
and employed the rest in splitting planks. At three o'clock I noticed 
some persons on the other side of the river, whom I recognized as 
belonging to M. Pharoux's party, and felt alarmed lest some accident 
had happened. Half an hour later my fears were realized, on the ar- 
rival of Messrs. Broadhead and Tassart, with one of their men, who in- 
formed me that, yesterday morning, as they were endeavoring to cross 
the river on a raft to the other side, they had been drawn into the falls 
by the violence of the .current, and that M. Pharoux and two men had 
perished. The rest had been assisted by M. Tassart and his hired 



man, who had fortunately refused to embark with them. They had 
built some fires, and Fearehed along the shores, hoping to be able to 
assist their unfortunate comrades should they be able to j;et ashore ; 
but all their searches were in vain. The place selected for crossing 
was narrow, and consequently rapid, and the great flood had still 
further increased the velocity of the current, which prevented them 
from touching the bottom with their poles, or of offering any resist- 
ance. M. Tassart had gone down two miles below the falls, where he 
had found still water and a safe crossing-place ; but the zeal of M. 
Pharoux had led him to disregard the representations of M. Tassart, 
and even the fears of the Indian, who had refused to cross with them. 
The dread of losing time in making another raft, and the belief that 
there was no danger, occasioned this irreparable loss that has befallen 
us. I had urged M. Pharoux to give up the journey, as the season 
was so far advanced; but his anxiety to procure at Kingston infor- 
mation as to provisions, men, etc., which we might depend upon next 
year, and above all his desire to verify for himself the operations on 
Penet Square and in Lower Castorland, drew him on to the end of his 
career. Mr. Broadhead had been wounded on the head by a piece of 
the raft as it went to pieces and was swallowed up in the falls. 
Money, instruments, provisions, all were lost, and his men lost all 
their effects. 

"This unfortunate event happened yesterday morning at half-past 
nine o'clock, and of the seven persons who were on the raft four only 
were saved. Our friends looked upon the danger with firmness. 
They went down the first two rapids without breaking, and he did 
not cease encouraging his men till the moment when they wore pre- 
cipitated over the third fall, which is more than fifteen feet high. 
Their raft went to pieces, and they disappeared in the cauldron 
below. Mr. Broadhead got ready to return to the place with two 
men to seek for the bodies of the victims of this sad catastrophe, and 
to render the last dues of a friend. We shall earnestly and constantly 
hope for their success in this enterprise, which would prove the very 
greatest consolation to us in this foreign land. M. Tassart will start 
to-morrow to carry my letter, and one from Mr. Broadhead to my 
brother, so that, should it be thought necessary, he can come down 
with some provisions to await the return of Mr. Broadhead. We 
finished covering the shop with planks, as well as the ends of the 
roof. The oxen drew fire-wood to the forge. We have made a 
wood-pile, which we have kindled and attended, so as to have some 
charcoal while waiting for the coal-pit. . . . 

" Tuetiday, September 22. — M. Tassart set out with his man Robin- 
son and N. Hobley. One of Mr. Broadhead's hired men, finding him- 
self sick, joined them to return home. I gave M. Tassart the large 
canoe, as the most convenient for my brother to come down in with 
the provisions. In that case Baptisto will take care of things at the 
establishment at the High Falls. Mr. Broadhead, having no more 
instruments, could not continue his operations. After conferring with 
him, he decided not to go further than the bay, and to take only pro- 
visions enough for ten days, as this time would be sufficient to make 
the search. If they find the body of our friend they will not bury it, 
but wrap it in barks tied with moose-wood, so that it may be brought 
here on a horse, when we will take it up to the mouth of Independence 
creek, where he had chosen a site for his dwelling, and there we will 
erect such monument as we may be able. While Mr. Broadhead is 
searching for the body with a man, the two others, with hooks and 
in a canoe, will drag the bottom of the river, to endeavor to find either 
the bodies or the things that have been lost. They finished the black- 
smith's forge, so as to make some hooks at once. Mr. Broadhead 
will have with him Ilitto, the Indian, and Peck and Warner, two of 
our men. . . . Notwithstanding what Mr. Broadhead had told me, I 
climbed many times upon the rocks, fancying to myself that my friend 
•had been able to save himself by gaining the shore, and that ho had 
come up to opposite our place; but all in vain. 

" Wednesday, Sepleiiiher 2.3.— At half-past nine Mr. Broadhead set 
out with the three men, some blankets, and other articles that they 
might want. They did not take all their provisions, as the road 
which they had marked in going was very good, and in four hours 
a man can go from here to the fatal place where they attempted to 
cross. Mr. Broadhead, on his return, will procure new men to con- 
tinue the survey, and to run the road from here to Kingston by way 
of Penet's Square. I will lend him M. Pharoux's compass and a sur- 
veyor's chain, if he does not recover his own. . . 

" Thursday, September 24.— Employed the oxen in drawing the 
wood cut for the mill. The blacksmith split some ash into thin strips 

to make a crate for carrying coal. I went to visit the coal-pit, which 
is burning very well, notwithstanding the bad weather. They have 
finished the planks necessary for covering the coal-house. The In- 
dians had made sugar at the place where the pit is located, where 
there were many maple-trees cut into, and almost all the other young 
trees and dead wood had been cut by them to boil their sugar with; 
so that it will be very easy to establish a farm there; the soil, more- 
over, being of a good quality and near a good meadow. . . . 

" Friday, September 25. — The oxen drew carpenter's wood. Visited 
the coal-pit, which is quite advanced, and would have been done if it 
had not been necessary to use green wood. The blacksmith pretends 
that it will still require six or seven days. The English and Indians, 
during the war of independence, coming from the Oswegatchie here, 
made the portage and went up the Black river to surprise Fort Stan- 
wix. There occurred a skirmish on the other side, between the 
Oneidas and the English, guided by other Indians, in which many of 
the OneiduB were killed, and the rest were obliged to fall back upon 
Fort Stanwix. The Indian, Ilitto, pointed out to M. Pharoux the 
place where the combat took place on the banks of Black river. Made 
a large sled to transport the coal in the orate. 

"Saturday, September 26.— Found this morning, along the river- 
bank, a kind of potato that is natural to the country. Our Yankees 
told me that it was excellent when cooked under the ashes. It is 
called the ground-nut. They are now scarcely formed, or green, and 
are attached one after another on filaments, like a string of beads. I 
found their taste to be like the turnip, and very insipid. At four 
o'clock in the afternoon Robinson and Hobley returned with the little 
canoe, and brought letters from my brother, who informed me that 
he had sent for provisions. He asked from me a report on the con- 
dition of the labors, so as to be able to judge whether he ought to 
continue or suspend the work at the mill till next year. ... At 
eight in the evening Robinson returned with a letter from Mr. Broad- 
head, who had made a canoe, but had as yet found nothing, and re- 
quested me to send him some fresh provisions. 

" Sunday, September 27. — Last evening Warren, on his return from 
Mr. Broadhead's camp, found nothing at the landing-plaee opposite 
to us but the rojie that had held the canoe, and which had probably 
been carried off by the water. . The steady rain to-day prevented 
us from sending any provisions, and also suspended all our oper- 

"Monday, September 28. — After breakfast I sent Hobley and Rob- 
inson to carry provisions to Mr. Broadhead, with my brother's letter 
and one from myself. I asked him to send back Peck, who would be 
more useful as a carpenter here. They did not find the canoe again. 
The coal has been finished. Trueman did not bring up the oxen till 
nine o'clock, and did not find the cow. The search for the cattle 
made us lose precious time, and a well-trained dog would save us 
much care. The blacksmith having brought a basket of coal, put 
the two picks in order. ... In the mean time I had some trees 
felled in the direction of the canal and on the site of the mill. The 
blacksmith made a trough for dipping, and forged some little pieces 
to fasten his bellows, after which he arranged his hearth and twyre 

** Tuesday, September 29. — Employed the men under cover on ac- 
count of the bad weather. Had some plank taken up, and the space 
paved with stone, to enlarge the hearth, and prevent danger from 
fire, as the Indians will be sure to come and lotlge here in the winter 
while engaged in hunting. I visited the coal-pit, and we hope it will 
be burned to-morrow. Peck and Hitto returned at half-past three, 
with a letter from Mr. Broadhead, announcing his intention to return 
to-morrow. . . . 

" Wednesday, September JIO. — Wo had the first white frost. Mr. 
Broadhead returned, and complained to me that Peck had refused to 
go as far as the bay. He had recovered none of his effects, and he 
informed me that besides this he had lost more than two hundred and 
si.xty dollars in specie. I gave attention to his claims, and sent a 
statement to my brother, who will surely lay them before the oompany 
for their favorable action. They have out and squared two more 
pieces for the mill. The smith worked at his forge. Trueman, with 
the cattle, drew off the rest of the burnt logs that encumbered the 
place of the canal, and threw them into the river. . . . 

" Tlntrsdiiy, October 1. — Prepared my dispatches for my brother, 
and sent them by Mr. Broadhead, who returns to the High Falls. This 
surveyor embarked at nine o'clock, in the little canoe, with the In- 
dian Hitto. Had some pieces of while oak split for the mill-wheels, 



and placed them on the joists so that th6y will dry more rapidly, as 
well as the pins that I had arranged on them. Our great canoe of 
lastyear is entirely lost. . . . The recent flood of water carried it down 
the falls. The workmen are employed in rooting up stumps on the 
line pf the canal, . . . The smith made a heavy bar to aid in separa- 
ting the rock. . . . 

" Friday, October 2. — In the highest part of the line traced for the 
canal, we fortunately found much sand and clay, which will facilitate 
the excavation. The rocks which we found intermixed are very easily 
removed. I have caused part of the large flat stones taken out to bo 
piled by themselves, as they will serve for building purposes another 
year. ... In the afternoon the blacksmith and bis brother brought 
ooal, and re-covered the pit. They then aided the other men in bring- 
ing earth from the trench between the rocks, to put along the river to 
make an embankment opposite the mill, to increase its security against 
the ice. Finished the road from the house to the pit, which will also 
be a convenient way to bring up wood when cut. Have had the In- 
dian huts built near the coal-pit saved, to give our Indian brothers 
an example of respect for property. 

"Saturday, October 3. — Worked in digging the canal. The black- 
smith forged a mattock. The carpenter made a hand-barrow to 
carry off the dirt, from want of a wheelbarrow. I had them carry 
the soft sand from the ditch between the two great rocks to the river- 
bank, to protect the flank of the canal. We examined and estimated 
the amount of rock that it will be necessary to blast, and as the strata 
are inclined, they may be raised to advantage by the aid of imple- 
ments. I have had some iron wedges and levers forged. 

" Monday, October b. — Employed the men under cover, on account 
of the rain. The smith and his brother made chisels for piercing and 
mining the rocks. The two carpenters made mill-cogs. Robinson 
and Warren made pins. The new barrel of flour had heated, and 
was very mouldy and solid. . . In the afternoon they cut some 
wood for the carpenters, who have blocked out the pins of the drum- 

" Tuesday, October 6. — Split and put to dry on the joists some new 
square pieces. Made mill-cogs, etc., but the bad weather retarded 
all our operations. The laborers, crowded together in the log house, 
could not work as freely as they could in a large shed, on which ac- 
count we have determined to make one another year, as at the High 
Falls. Work the same as yesterday. 

"Wednesday, October 7. — Peck andUobinson got out some stumps 
and stones on the line of the canal. Trueman cut down and trimmed 
off the trees on the bank of the river, at the entrance of the canal. 
As the water is high, I have improved this occasion to clear away 
this part more easily. . . . 

" Thursday, October 8. — Dug out the opening of the canal into the 
river, and had the earth and stones thrown out on the left and right 
to support the banks. The smith forged two picks and a hoe. Dixon 
worked on the wheel. 

" Friday, October 9. — . . . The blacksmith forged some drills for 
piercing the rocks, and I had one tried. In four hours' time two men 
were not able to make a hole more than a foot in depth. The rock is 
harder to drill perpendicularly, because the beds are inclined, and 
we have to go against the grain of the stone. In the afternoon we 
charged this hole with powder to blast the rock, and it made a great 
blast. . . . The late rains have done much injury to our coal, the 
weather not having allowed us to get it in. Dixon and Hobley drilled 
new holes, and the stone yields more easily to the chisels and drill. 
Trueman, Peck, and Kobiuson worked at the entrance to the canal. 
The elder Hobley and Warren returned at night without the cattle. 
They brought back a bird a third larger than a domestic goose, with 
feet like a goose, a long bill without notches, and curved at the end. 
The lower part of the beak is of a saffron yellow. The wings had a 
spread of four feet. The plumage was of a blackish gray. Over the 
eyes there was a streak of bright yellow, like an eyebrow. They 
called this bird the cormay. The fat was oily, flesh dark, liver large, 
like that of a goose, but not bitter, and the whole excellent for cook- 
ing. Opened the last barrel of flour, which is a little better than the 
previous one. 

"Saturday, October 10. — Dixon and Peck went to cut some fine 
white oaks to make some very large planks. Warren and Hobley 
having found the cattle, I had them get the charcoal. They drilled 
some holes, which were charged with powder and fired, with but little 
eff"ect. Two men have continued at work on the canal, which does 
not advance notwithstanding the labor bestowed, and I despair of 

being able to finish it this year. ... At six o'clock in the evening 
we were visited by an Omcegatchie Indian and his two children. He 
had been three days on the way, and was going to hunt on the Boyls- 
ton side. As he was going up in the morning I sent a letter by him 
to my brother. This Indian could speak a little French. 

"Sunday, October W. — Rest for our men. In the morning I had the 
spectacle of an Indian hunt, and of their management of bark canoes, 
in which they ascend the rapids with a wonderful facility. The In- 
dian and his oldest boy killed two bucks on a little island in front of 
our house. They had seen four of these animals struggling against 
the rapids, which had drawn them down the falls, and the other two 
escaped by going from inland to island. The Indian, in return for 
our good reception, presented us with half of a deer, and then went 
off after breakfast. 

" Monday, October 12. — Found myself short of provisions, and, as I 
have received no news from my brother, I have decided to send to 
him three of our men to lessen the number of mouths, and to bring 
down provisions if we are to remain here, or two canoes if we are 
ordered to return. They set out at two o'clock. Had the charcoal 
drawn. Dixon and Peck felled and squared timber. Our supply of 
charcoal will not be sufficient for next year. Killed two snakes, 
striped yellow and black, with the belly white; these reptiles are not 
venomous. Noticed a beetle that was green, black, and bronze 
colored ; it carried on its belly a swarm of little ones as large as rape- 
seed, resembling little spiders, with long legs. 

" Tuesday, October 13. — The cattle could not be found until ten 
o'clock. I then continued to have the coal drawn in, and finally suc- 
ceeded in getting it all under cover before it rained. . . . 

" Tku/'sdfiy, October 15. — ... A storm that has uprooted many 
trees. I had previously caused one to be cut down that would have 
crushed the house in its fall. 

"Friday, October 16. — Continued our labors. Had still more trees 
cut down near us. The smith forged some axes. . . I am uneasy 
about the return of our men; but finally I saw them arrive at four 
o'clock, with some flour and the half of a pig. They had taken but 
ten hours to come down from the High Falls, although it had required 
two days to ascend the forty-five miles. They brought me my 
brother's letter. Observed some flocks of little birds, with the back 
and upper side of the wings, like the throat, light brown, and belly 
white. They came from the north, and announced to us that the cold 
weather is at hand. They were about as large as sparrows. 

" Saturday, October 17. — The river is higher than it has been before 
this season. It comes a little into our canal. My brother had in- 
structed me to arrange all the timber before coming to rejoin him 
with my men and cattle. I therefore had the oxen got up to draw 
the pieces together and aid in piling them. The wood will be dry 
and better to use next year. I secured all the pieces. 

" The rain coming on, they made oars and tool-handles. The smith 
has repaired some axes and forged two pieces to fasten on our large 
canoe, to strengthen the two ends. . . In the evening it snowed. 

" Sunday, October 18. — The river is still rising : filled the upper part 
of the canal. We had a very brilliant aurora borealis last night. 

'* This morning the snow was two inches deep on the ground. Our 
men were alarmed at this bad weather, and our hired men went the 
more willingly to look for the cattle. I will send them by land, and 
the rest will go up the river by canoe. Our workmen brought me a 
thorn branch, with red fruit as large as a fine cherry, and very good 
to eat. The thorns are very long, and they would make a very good 
hedge. The flower is very fragrant. 

" Monday, October ] 9. — Sent our men to hunt for the cattle, but they 
were not able to find them. As our provisions are getting short, I 
have sent five men in the large canoe, with a letter to my brother 
inclosing an inventory of the things that I had placed in their charge. 
I asked that Baptiste should bring the dog to aid in finding the trace 
of our cattle, which the overflow of the meadows had driven into the 
interior. . . . As the weather is bad, and all the low grounds are over- 
flowed, we have been prevented from looking for the cattle. This 
casualty has delayed our departure, which my brother believed was 
nearer, and, accordingly, he sent only the provisions necessary for a 
speedy return. I had some plum-tree plants embarked for the High 

" Tuesday, October 20. — Dixon made some cogs for wheels. True- 
man dug a little ditch to bring a spring down. I gave the proper 
slope for his canal, so that on the melting of the snows the waters that 
are brought in it cannot reach the coal-house, at the foot of which 



this ditch would naturally pass. I then had it dug between the house 
and the mill-riice. It is seven days since we have seen our cattle. In 
the afternoon the carpenter and Trueman out down some white oaks, 
and squared them for the mill-race. 

" TImrsday, October 22.— The arrival of the ox last evening led mo 
to hope that the rest were not far distant, and I sent out Trueman to 
search for them. At eight o'clock he came back with the horse, which 
I . . . gave the little corn I had left. The calf returned without the 
cow. At five o'clock Mr. Mitchell arrived with a letter from Mr. 
Broadhead, followed directly after by our men. 

"Friday, October 23. — As soon as breakfast was over I sent off all the 
men to look for the cattle. They have piled up in the forge all the little 
pieces that have been prepared, the better to save them. Mr. Mitchell 
informs me that our road is twenty miles from the High Falls to Cas- 
torville, and fifteen miles from CastorviUe to this place. There are 
only three creeks that it will be necessary to bridge, and it will be 
necessary to make two causeways across swamps of considerable size. 
The site designed by ray brother for CastorviUe is very favorable ; 
the falls excellent for mills, and there are some springs of very good 
water. Our men have found three oxen and the cow. The fourth ox 
had not been brought in at nightj Dixon found traces of the calf; 
butj since our provisions are low, we shall be obliged to give up the 
search, if it does not come in before morning. I was fortunate to 
discover by the sound of the bell that our horse had got loose and 
was going off. We had him caught and secured. 

''Saturday, October 24. — Mr. Mitchell and his party went away in 
the morning. Had some look in the rain for the calf while they 
were loading the canoes, but finally embarked all hands at eleven 

Desjardines wa.s succeeded by Rodolpli Tillier, and no 
further records of affairs at this point are to be obtained 
from the journal. 

The land at Carthage was subsequently sold to Henry 
Boutin, about 1798. 


Probably the oldest settlement in Jefferson County was 
made by the French, on Carlton island, but at what date 
it is impossible to say. Charlevoix, in 1721, speaks of the 
island as then occupied by them. The English also occu- 
pied it from the date of the surrender of Canada, in 1760, 
at least as late as the American Revolution. 

The earliest settlements in the various towns of the 
county, as near as can be ascertained, were about as fol- 

Adams, 1798-99; Alexandria, 1811 ; Antwerp, 1803: 
BrownviUe, 1799; Cape Vincent (mainland), 1801 ; Cfoy- 
toH, 1801 ; Champion, 1797; Ellisburg, 1797; Hender- 
son, l?,^}^ ; Hoimsfield, 1801; Le Ray, 1802; Lorraine, 
1802 ; Lyme, 1801 ; Orleans, about 1806 ; Pamelia, 1799 
-1802; PhiladeJjjMu, about 1803-4; Rodman, 1801; 
Rutland, 1799; Theresa, about 1810; Wutertown, 1800; 
mina, 1798 ; Worth, 1802. 

A full account of the settlements, with the names of set- 
tlers, and much interesting matter will be found in the his- 
tory of the respective towns and villages, in another por- 
tion of this work. 

A large proportion of the early settlers were from New 
England and the older counties of the State of New York, 
but there were many from other portions of the Union, 
together with quite a number from Prance and Canada. 
The G-erman and Irish elements, so prevalent in many sec- 
tions of the country, have never been numerous in Jeffer- 
son County, the great bulk of the population being of native 
American birth. 



Capitulation of the Dutch — Colonial Charters of Liberties — Erection 
of Counties— Albany, Tryon, Montgomery, Herkimer, Oneida, Jef- 
f^.rson — Organization of Towns — Boundaries of Towns — The Courts 

Board of Supervisors — Court-House and Jail — Poor-House and 


In tracing the history of the habilitation of a county with 
the powers of local self-government, some account of the 
source whence, or power by which, that sovereignty has pro- 
ceeded is necessary for a full understanding of the subject. 
The beginning, therefore, of such a history of Jefferson 
County is made at the transfer of the power of the Dutch 
colonists in New Amsterdam (New York), in 1664, to the 
English over the Dutch possessions in that region and sur- 
rounding country. 

The aiticles of capitulation of the Dutch were drawn up 
and subscribed in the governor's Bowery, August 27 (0. 
S.), 1664. Of the twenty-three articles in the document, 
twenty of them were guaranties of the civil and political 
rights of the capitulators, — one guarantied freedom for the 
the exercise of their religious worship, one saved their mil- 
itary honor, and one looked to the regaining of their lost 

This important State paper was signed by the following 
representatives of the contracting powers : 

For the Dutch. — John De Decker, Nich. Verleet, Sam. 
Megapolensis, Cornelius Steenwick, Oloffe Stevens Van 
Kortlant, James Cousseau. For the English. — Robert 
Carr, Geo. Carteret, Jno. Winthrop, Sam. Willys, Thomas 
Clarke, John Pinchon. The governor assented to the arti- 
cles, and signed his assent, "Richard Nicolls."* 

This convention passed the authority and power of gov- 
ernment of the Dutch colonies in America to the kins of 


Great Britain, who appointed his Royal Highness, the 
Duke of York, lord proprietor of the province, the name 
of which was changed from New Amsterdam to New York, 
the settlement on the Hudson river, called New Orange, 
receiving the name of Albany at the same time. The 
duke appointed a governor and council, and gave the colo- 
nists the right to elect representatives from among the free- 
holders of the colony and freemen of the corporations to 
meet as a general assembly, to make laws for the govern- 
ment of the province, subject to the approval of the gov- 
ernor and council, and the confirmation of the duke himself 
and the king. The first assembly, being the first legisla- 
tive body that ever assembled in what was afterwards the 
State of New York, met in October, 1683, — Thomas Dungan 
being governor and M. Nicolls speaker of the assembly. 
The assembly, on the 26th of October, drew up a charter 
of liberties and privileges granted the colonists by his 
Royal Highness, wherein they stipulated so liberally in their 
own behalf, that although the charter was approved by the 
governor and council (October 30), it probably was repealed 
by the duke or crown, as no record of its confirmation has 
been discovered. However, the provisions in the same, 
not conflicting with the grant to the duke, were retained. 

Smith's History of New York. 



and the government administered accordingly. The pre- 
amble and first two clauses of the charter are as follows, 
verbatim et literatim, :* 

" For the better establishing the Government of this 
province of New York, and thatt Justice and Right may" 
bee equally done to all persons within the same : Bee it en- 
acted by the Governor, Councell and Representatives, now 
in Gen'all Assembly mett and assembled, and by the author- 
ity of the same — Thatt the Supreme Legislative Authority 
under His Majesty and Royall Highnesse, James, Duke of 
Yorke, Albany &c. Lord Proprietor of the said province, 
shall forever bee and reside in a Governour, Councell and 
the people, mett in Gene' all Assembly. That the exer- 
cise of the chiefe magistracy and administration of the 
government over the said province, shall be in the said 
Governour, assisted by the councell, with whose advice and 
consent, or with att least four of them, hee is to rule and 
govern the same according to the laws thereof." 

The assembly was to be convened once in every three 
years, at least, and " every freeholder in the province, and 
freeman in the corporations," had the right to vote for the 
representatives, a majority of which votes were to govern. 
This first a,ssembly was composed of sixteen representatives ; 
two of the counties into which the province was divided 
for the purpose of such representation, viz., Dukes and 
Cornwall, never sending any representatives, but were enti- 
tled to send one each. 

On November 1, 1683, the assembly divided the prov- 
ince into twelve counties, namely, city and county of New 
York, Westchester, Ulster, Albany, ^'■Dutchesses," Orange, 
Richmond, King's, Queen's, Suffolk, Dukes, and Cornwall. 

Albany county, which included the territory now form- 
ing the area of Jefferson County, was bounded thus : " To 
conteyne the towne of Albany, the Colony of Renslaerswyck, 
Sthonecteda, and all the villages, neighborhoods, and Chris- 
tian habitacons on the East side of Hudson's River from 
Roeleffe Jansen's Creeke, and on the west from Sawyer's 
Creeke to the Sarraaghtoga." 

This assembly proceeded to legislate for the colonists for 
a time, but its acts were never ratified and confirmed by 
the duke of York or the king, and therefore the second 
assembly, which met in 1691, declared the legislation had 
under the first assembly, and the ordinances of the gov- 
ernors and council, null and void,"j- and proceeded to draw 
up another charter oi" liberties and privileges similar to the 
first one, and which was repealed by the Crown in Sep- 
tember, 1697. The assembly redivided the province into 
the same number of and named counties, with the same 

This assembly was composed of twenty-one members, two 
of whom failed to attend, and two others, being Quakers, 
from Queen's county, refused to swear to the oath of oflBce, 
and were dismissed and two others elected, — one of whom, 
John Tradwell, was arrested by the under-sheriff of the 
city of New York on his arrival to attend the assembly, 
which act was resented in vigorous terms by the assembly, 
which ordered the under-sheriff arrested and brought be- 

« Smith's History of New York. 
f Journal of Colonial Assembly. 

fore that body for contempt, and ordered Tradwell to at- 
tend the service of the house immediately. Upon the 
appearance of the member and oflficer the assembly went 
into an examination of the cause of Tradwell's commit- 
ment, when the developments were so unwholesome the 
assembly resolved they could not have him among them 
as a member, but ordered him discharged from his com- 
mitment on payment of costs, as his coming to the city 
on his majesty's writ privileged him from arrest. They 
ordered a new election in Queen's county, and John Rob- 
inson was returned and took his seat in the assembly. 

The government at this date was composed as follows: 
Henry Sloughter, Esq., governor and commander-in-chief; 
Joseph Dudley, Frederick Phillipse, Stephen Cortlandt, 
Chidley Brook, and Gabriel Monville, council ; and the 
following-named assemblymen : city and county of New 
York, James Graham (speaker), William Merrett, Jacobus 
Van Cortlandt, Johannis Kipp ; city and county of Albany, 
Dirck Wessells and Levinus Van Schaick; Ulster and 
Dutchess, Henricus Beekman, William Demiere; West- 
chester, John Pell; Richmond, Elias Duksberry, John 
Dally; Suffolk, Henry Pierson, Mathew Howell; Queen's, 
Daniel Whitehead, John Robinson; King's, Nicholas Still- 
well, John Poland; Manor of Rensselaer Wyck, Killian 
Van Rensselaer.J 

Notwithstanding the repeal of the charter of liberties, 
the assembly remained intact, and continued to legislate 
for the government and benefit of the colonists until the 
Revolution, or at least until 1773, to which year the last- 
published journal of its proceedings reaches and includes. 
On March 12, 1772, the assembly erected a new county 
from a portion of Albany, and named it Tryon, in honor 
of the governor of the province at the time. On March 
24, 1772, the assembly divided Tryon county into five dis- 
tricts, the eastern one being called the Mohawk district, 
the southwestern one Kingsland, the northwestern one, 
north of the Mohawk, German Flats, the centre one, north 
of the Mohawk, Stone Arabia, and the centre one, south 
of the Mohawk, was called Canajoharie district. The first 
election was to be held in May, 1772, on the first Tuesday 
of the month, whereat the freeholders were to elect one su- 
pervisor, two assessors, one collector, two overseers of the 
poor, two constables, two fence-viewers, and one clerk in 
each district, who were to have the same powers as the 
same officials had elsewhere in the province. The Mohawk 
district was bounded on the east by the west boundary of 
Schenectady district in Albany county, on the west by a 
north and south line drawn from the pass in the mountains 
called "Anthony's nose,'' continued to the north and south 
bounds of the county, on the south by the south boundary 
of the colony and the county of Albany, and on the north 
by the bounds of the province. Stone Arabia lay next 
west of the Mohawk district, north of the Mohawk river, 
the west line being a line drawn north from the Little 
falls of that river to the north bounds of the province, and 
Canajoharie district was the corresponding one south of the 
Mohawk. German Flats was the northwestern district, 
bounded west and north by the boundary of the province 

"l Journal of the Colonial Assembly. 



in those directions, and Kingsland, the southwestern one, 
was similarly bounded south and west. On March 8, 1773, 
the name of Stone Arabia was changed to Palatine, and 
German Flats and Kingsland exchanged names, each taking 
the other's. On this same day two market fairs were 
ordered to be held in .Johnstown yearly, and the repre- 
sentative in the assembly from Tryon county was allowed 
twelve shillings per day while in attendance on the same, 
and in going to and returning therefrom. February 6, 
1773, an act was passed authorizing the authorities of 
Tryon county to levy a tax sufficient to raise sixteen hun- 
dred pounds to complete a court-house and erect a jail at 
Johnstown, and offered bounties for the killing of wolves 
and panthers in the county. At the adoption of the first 
constitution of the State, April 20, 1777, the counties pre- 
viously named were recognized, except Dukes and Corn- 
wall, the territory included in which, having been previ- 
ously surrendered to Massachusetts colony, and three others 
formed previously, viz., Charlotte (now Washington), and 
Cumberland and Gloucester (since ceded to Vermont). 
The convention framing the constitution gave Tyron 
county six of the seventy assemblymen of which the lower 
house of the legislature was to be composed, and divided 
the twenty-four senators in four classes, and the State -into 
as many districts, the western one including the counties 
of Albany and Tryon, which were entitled to six of the 
senators. The delegates to this convention from Tryon 
county were William Harper, Isaac Paris, V. Veeder, John 
Moore, and Benjamin Newkirk. 

On April 2, 1784, Tryon county was subdivided into 
several counties, and its own name lost. Montgomery 
county was organized in that portion of the territory which 
included Jefferson's area ; and in 1788 the boundaries of 
the county were defined as follows : Bounded easterly by 
Ulster, Albany, Washington, and Clinton counties, south- 
erly by the State of Pennsylvania, and west and north by 
the bounds of the State in those directions. The county 
was, on March 17 of the last-named year, divided into nine 
towns, of which Whitestown included within its limits all 
of the territory north, south, and west, to the bounds of the 
State. On March 3, 1789, a bill was passed by the As- 
sembly to raise money in Montgomery county to liquidate 
claims arising therein for the erection of a court-house and 
jail at Whitestown. Montgomery then had seven assem- 
blymen. On February 16, 1791, Herkimer county was 
erected from Montgomery county, including in its bound- 
aries the present Jefferson County. Courts were provided 
for the new sovereignty, provision made for erecting county 
buildings, and one assemblyman assigned to it. April 10 
1792, the town of Whitestown was subdivided, and out of 
its territory the towns of Westminster, Steuben, Paris, 
Peru, and Mexico were framed. The latter and Steuben 
included, besides other territory, all of the present area 
of Jefferson County; Mexico including the territory 
south, and Steuben that north, of Black river. The first 
town-meeting in Mexico was directed to be held at the 
house of Benjamin Moorhouse. On March 10, 1797, the 
town of Leyden was set off from Steuben, and the first 
town-meeting ordered to be held at the house of Andrew 
Edmunds. March 1.5, 1798, Oneida county, including 

also the present territory of Jefferson, was taken from Her- 
kimer and organized, a court-house ordered to be built at 
Rome, within one mile of old Fort Stanwix, and a jail pro- 
vided for in 1800. March 14, 1800, Watertown was taken 
from Mexico and erected into a separate town, and the first 
town-meeting directed to be held at Asher Miller's dwell- 
inf. The area of the town included what was known as 
townships 1, 2, and 3, in a tract belonging to Henry Cham- 
pion and others, and was bounded on the north by Black 
river, west by Hungry Bay, south by townships 6, 7, 8, 
and 9 of the same tract, and east by township 4. The 
town of Champion was also organized at the same time, 
from Mexico, and included township 4, and part of town- 
ship 5, of same tract, and bounded north by Black river, 
east by Deer creek, west by township 3, and south by 
townships 9 and 10, and the first town-meeting was to be 
held at the house of Joel Mix. On April 1, 1802, the 
town of Brownville was organized from territory included in 
Leyden, and was bounded as follows : " Beginning at the 
northwesterly corner of the town of Champion ; thence 
north 45° east to the southwest bounds of St. Lawrence 
county ; thence northwesterly along the line of said county 
to the river St. Lawrence ; thence southwest up said river 
and Lake Ontario to the mouth of Black river ; thence 
easterly up Black river to beginning." The first town- 
meeting was ordered to be held at the house of Jacob 
Brown, afterwards General Brown. The town of Adams 
was also organized on the same day from Mexico, being 
townships 7 and 8, bounded northeast by Watertown. The 
first town-meeting was ordered to be held at Eliphalet Ed- 
mons' dwelling. Rutland was also organized the same day 
from Watertown, being that part of the same designated as 
township 3, and David Coffeen had the honor of having 
the first town-meeting held in his house. February 22, 
1803, the town of Ellisburg was organized from a portion 
of the area of Mexico, and included in its boundaries the 
townships on the State map of the surveyor-general known 
as Ellisburg and township 6, the latter township being 
known as Henderson and Minos. The first town-meeting 
was held at the house of Lyman Ellis. March 24, 1804, 
the town of Harrison was organized from territory included 
in Adams, known as town.ship 8, and Simeon Hunt accom- 
modated the electors of the new town with a place wherein 
to hold their first town-meeting. The name of the town 
was, April 6, 1808, changed to Rodman. On the same 
day the town of Malta was organized from Mexico, and 
the name changed to that which it now bears, — Lorraine. 
All of the above towns were organized as constituents of 
Oneida county, but the next important act was that of 


which was effected on the 28th day of March, 1805. 

Such had been the rapidity of settlement of the Black 
river valley within five or six years from its opening, that 
the necessity of a division of Oneida county, which included 
this valley within its boundaries, became apparent, and 
local interests began to operate to secure the advantages 
expected from the location of the public buildins;s. Each 
section had its advocates. Nathan Sage, in Redfield, 
Walter Martin, in Martinsburg, Silas Stow and others in 



Lowville, Moss Kent, Noadiah Hubbard, and others in 
Champion, Henry CoflPeen, in Watertown, and Jacob Brown, 
in Brownville, were each intent upon the project of a 
county-seat. Many were for having but one new county, 
in which case Champion had the fairest prospects of success, 
and indeed such had been the chances, in the opinion of 
several prominent citizens, that they had located there. 
Among these were Moss Kent, a brother of Judge James 
Kent, Egbert Ten Eyck, etc. To obtain an expression of 
public opinion on this subject, three delegates, chosen at 
town-meetings, from each town interested in the question, 
met at the house of Freedom Wright, in Harrisburgh 
(Denmark), November 20, 1804. Many went with the 
intention of voting for one new county only, but strong 
local interests led to the attendance of those who so in- 
fluenced the voice of the delegation, that, with but one 
exception, they decided for two new counties, and the con- 
vention united upon recommending the names of the exec- 
utive officers of the Federal and State governments, then in 
office, from whence came the names of Jefferson and 
Lewis, from Thomas Jefferson and Morgan Lewis, both 
men of national celebrity. Application was accordingly 
made to the legislature, and on March 4, 1805, Mr. Wright, 
then in the assembly, from the committee to whom was 
referred the petitions and remonstrances from the inhabitants 
of the county of Oneida relative to a division thereof, 
reported '* that they had examined the facts stated as to 
population and extent of territory in said county, and the 
inconvenience of attending county concerns, and find the 
same to be true," A division was deemed necessary, and 
leave was granted to bring in a bill, which was twice read 
the same day, and passed through the legislature without 

Said act is as follows : 

"An Act erecting Lewis and Jefferson Countif.s, passed 
March 28, 1805. ' 

"1. Be it enacted hy the people of the State of Neio York, repre- 
sented ill Senate and Anaembly, That all that part of the county of 
Oneida contained within the following bounds-", to wit, Beginning at 
the southwest corner of the town of Ellisburg on the easterly shore 
of Lake Ontario, and running along the southerly line of said town; 
thence along the easterly line thereof to the southwest corner of the 
town of Malta; thence along the southerly line of said town of 
Malta, and continuing the same course to the corner of townships 
number two, three, seven, and eight; thence north along the east line 
of the town of Malta aforesaid to the northeast corner thereof; thence 
in a direct line to the corners of the towns of Rutland and Cham- 
pion ; thence along the line between the said town of Champion iind 
the town of Harrisburgh, to Black river; thence in a direct line to 
the bounds of the county of St. Lawrence to intersect the same at 
the corner of townships numbers seven and eleven in Great Tract 
number three, of Macomb's purchase; thence along the westerly 
bounds of the said county of St. Lawrence to the north bounds of 
this State ; thence westerly and southerly along said bounds, including 
all the islands in the river St. Lawrence, in Lake Ontario, and in 
front thereof, and within this State, to the place of beginning, shall 
be, and hereby is erected into a separate county, and shall be called 
and known by the name of Jefferson. 

" 2. And he it further enacted, That all that part of the said county 
of Oneida contained within the following bounds, to wit. Beginning 
at the southeast corner of the county of Jefferson aforesaid ; thence 
southerly along the westerly line of the town of Turin to the south- 

* Hough's History of Jefferson County, 

west corner thereof; thence easterly along the south line of said town 
to the southeast corner thereof; thence north sixty-two degrees east 
along the southerly line of the tract of land known by the name of 
Macomb's purchase to the line of the county of Herkimer; thence 
north along the said last-mentioned line to the bounds of the county 
of St. Lawrence; thence along the southwesterly line of said last- 
mentioned county to the line of the county of Jefferson; and thence 
along the southerly and easterly bounds thereof to the place of begin- 
ning, shall be, and hereby is erected into a separate county, and shall 
be called and known by the name of Lewis. 

"3. Andbe it further enacted, Tho^t all that part of township number 
nine which is comprised within the bounds of the said county of 
Jefferson shall be annexed to and become a part of the town of 
Harrison, in said county, Vnd that all that part of said township 
number nine comprised within the bounds of the said county of Lewis 
shall be annexed to and become a part of the town of Harrisburgh, 
in said county. 

"4. And be it further enacted, That there shall be held in and for the 
said counties of Jefferson and Lewis respectively a court of common 
pleas and general sessions of the peace, and that there shall be two 
terms of the said courts in each of the said counties respectively in 
every year, to commence and end as follows, that is to say : the first 
term of the said court in said county of Jefferson shall begin on the 
second Tuesday of June of every year, and may continue to be held 
until the Saturday following, inclusive; and the second term of said 
court in the said county of Jefferson shall begin on the second Tues- 
day of December of every year, and may continue to be held until 
the Saturday following, inclusive." . . . (The courts were ordered 
to be held in Lewis county on the first Tuesdays of June and Decem- 
ber, with the same limitations as to number of days of session.) 
"And the said courts of common pleas and general sessions of the 
peace shall have the same jurisdiction, powers, and authorities in the 
said counties respectively as the court of common pleas and general 
sessions of the peace in the other counties of the State have in their 
respective counties : Provided, always, That nothing in this act con- 
tained shall be construed to affect any suit or action already com- 
menced, or that shall be commenced, before the first terms to be held 
in the respective counties of Jefferson and Lewis, so as to work a 
wrong or prejudice to any of the parties therein, or to affect any 
criminal or other proceedings on the part of the people of this State ; 
but all puch civil or criminal proceedings shall and may be prose- 
cuted to trial, judgment, and, execution as if this act had not been 
passed; And further provided, ThAt the first of the said courts in 
each of the said counties shall be held on the second Tuesday of 
December next. 

"5. And be it further enacted, ThnX, three commissioners shall be 
appointed by the council of appointment, who shall not be resident 
within the western district of this State, or interested in either of said 
counties of Jefferson or Lewis, for the purpose of designating the 
sites for the court-houses and gaols of the said counties respectively; 
and to that end the said commissioners shall, as soon as may be, pre- 
vious to the first day of October next, repair to the said counties 
respectively, and, after exploring the same, ascertain and designate 
a fit and proper place in each of said counties for erecting the said 
buildings ; and that until such buildings shall be erected, and further 
legislative provision be made in the premises, the said courts of 
common pleas and general sessions of the peace shall be held at such, 
place in each of the said counties nearest and most contiguous to the 
places designated as the sites for said buildings as the said commis- 
sioners, or any two of them, shall determine and fix upon ; and the said 
commissioners, or any two of thein, are hereby required, as soon as 
they have designated the places for erecting the said buildings and 
determined upon the places for holding the said courts, to make out 
and sign a certificate certifying the jilace designated for erecting the 
said buildings and places fixed on for holding courts in each of the 
said counties, and to transmit one of the said certificates to each of 
the clerks of the respective counties, who are required to receive and 
file the same in their respective offices : and that the said commis- 
sioners shall be entitled to receive, each, the sura of four dollars per 
day for the time necessarily employed in executing the trusts reposed 
in them by this act, the one moiety thereof to be paid by each of the 
said counties. 

*' 6. And be it further enacted, That the freeholders and inhabitants 
ofthe said counties respectively shall have and enjoy, within the same, 
all and every the same rights, powers, and privileges as the free- 



holders and inhabitants of any other county in this State are by law 
entitled to have and enjoy. 

•'7. And be itfm-lher enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for 
all courts, and officers of the said counties of Jefferson and Lewis, re- 
spectively, in all cases, civil and criminal, to confine their prisoners 
in the gaol or gaols of the county of Oneida, until gaols shall be pro- 
vided in the same counties respectively, and the said counties paying 
each the charges of their own prisoners. 

"8. And be it farther enacted, That in thft distribution of repre- 
sentation in the assembly of this State, there shall be three members 
in the county of Oneida, and one in the counties of Jefferson, Lewis, 
and St. Lawrence, any law to the contrary notwithstanding. 

"9. And be it further enacted. That no circuit court, or courts of 
oyer and terminer, and general gaol delivery, shall be held in either 
of the said counties of Jefferson and Lewis until the same shall, in 
the opinion of the justices of the supreme court, become necessary. 

*' 10. And he it further enacted. That the said counties of Jefferson 
nnd Lewis shall be considered as part of the western district of this 
State, and also as part of the fifteenth congressional district, and that 
as respects all proceedings under the act entitled 'an act relative to 
district attornies,' the said counties shall be annexed to and become 
a part of the district now composed of the counties of Herkimer, 
Otsego, Oneida, and Chenango. • 

"11. And he it farther enacted, That as soon as may be after the 
first Monday of April, in the year 1806, the supervisors of the said 
counties of Oneida, Jefferson, and Lewis, on notice being first given 
by the supervisors of the said counties of Jefferson and Lewis, or of 
■ either of them, for that purpose shall meet together by themselves, 
or by committees appointed by their respective boards, and divide 
the money unappropriated, belonging to the said county of Oneida, 
previous to the division thereof, agreeable to the last county tax- 

"12. And he it farther enacted, That the votes taken at the elec- 
tion in the said counties of Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence shall 
be returned to the clerk of tlie county of Oneida, to be by him esti- 
mated and disposed of, as is directed by the statute regulatin"- 

"13. And be it farther enacted. That all that part of the town of 
Leyden remaining in the county of Oneida shall be and remain a 
separate town, by Ihe name of Boonsville, and the first town-meeting 
shall he held at the house of Joseph Denning; and all the rcmainin"- 
part of the town of Leyden which is comprised within the bounds of 
the county of Lewis shall be and remain a town by the name of Ley- 
den, and the first town-meeting shall be held at the dwelling-house 
of Hezekiah Talcott. 

"14. And he it further enacted, That as soon as may be after the 
first town-meeting in each of said towns, the supervisors and over- 
seers of the poor of said towns of Leyden and Boonsville shall, by 
notice to be given for that purpose by the supervisors thereof, meet 
together, and apportion the money and poor of said town of Leyden, 
previous to the division thereof, according to the last tax-list, and 
that each of said towns shall thereafter respectively maintain their 
own poor." 

Dr. Hough further says : " The relative limits of Jeffer- 
son and Lewis counties have been three times chan<;;ed. 
It will be noticed by reference that the present town of 
Pinckney, in Lewis county, organized February 12, 1808 
then a part of the town of Harrison, in Jefferson, was then 
divided by a line that was a continuation of the west lines 
of townships 8 and 3, of Boylston's tract; and that from 
the line between Champion and Denmark, on Black river, 
the division ran straight to St. Lawrence county, where the 
line of townships 7 and 11, of tract III., touched the 
county line. On the organization of the town of Pinckney 
the whole of township No. 9 was included in Lewis county. 
On Apiil 5, 1810, the line east of the river, beginning, as 
before, at the east corner of Champion, ran thence to°the 
southwest corner of a lot in 11 west and 21 north ranges, 
subdivisions of No. 5; thence east, between 20 and 2l| 
northern ranges, to the southwest corner of a lot in 10 

west, 21 north range; thence north, between 10 and 11, 
to south line of lot No. 4 ; thence east to lots 808-9 ; 
thenee along 808-9 to lot 857 ; thence to the southeast 
corner of 857 and 809 to the northeast corner of 851 ; 
thence west, on line of lots 851 and 850, to southwest 
corner of 850 ; thence northeast, along line of lots, to St. 
Lawrence county. 

The present line between the two counties was estab- 
lished April 2, 1813, by which this county received con- 
siderable accessions from Lewis county, in the town of 
Wilna, organized then from the towns of Le Ray and 
Leyden. By an act of March 17, 1815, the several 
islands within the limits of this State, in the St. Lawrence 
and Lake Ontario, lying in front of this county, were at- 
tached to it. By several acts the sovereignty of small 
tracts on Stony point. Horse island, Galloo island, Tib- 
bet's point, and Carlton island* has been ceded to the 
United States for the purpose of erecting lighthouses, the 
State retaining concurrent civil and criminal jurisdiction 

The town of Henderson was organized from territory — 
township No. 6 — included in Ellisburg, February 17, 1806, 
and on the same day Hounsfield was erected, and included 
township 1 on the surveyor's map, being a part of Water- 
town, and the first town-meeting was directed to be held at 
the house of Joseph Landon. On the same day also Le 
Ray was formed from a part of Brownville, being that part 
of said town lying east of Penet's Square ; and that line 
extended south to Black river arid north to the St. Law- 
rence ; and the first town-meeting was held at the house 
of Abiel Shurtleff. The first town-meeting in Henderson 
was held at the house of Reuben Putnam. Antwerp was 
taken from Le Ray, April 5, 1810 ; and Wilna, as before 
stated, from Le Ray and Leyden, April 2, 1813; Lyme 
from Brownville, March 6, 1818 ; Pamelia from Brown- 
ville, April 12, 1819; Alexandria from Brownville and 
Le Ray ; Orleans from Brownville ; and Philadelphia 
from Le Ray; the last three on April 3, 1821. Clayton 
was taken from Orleans and Lyme, April 27, 1833, The- 
resa from Alexandria, April 15, 1841 ; Worth from Lor- 
raine, April 12, 1848; and Cape Vincent from Lyme,, 
April 10, 1849, which completed the roster of the towns of 
the county as they at present are constituted, excepting the 
erection of the city of Watertown in 1869. 

Simeon De Witt, in his map of the State east of the 
pre-emption line, published in 1802, adopted the following 
names to the towns in the county : 

Penet Square, now in Clayton and Orleans, Penet.| 

Great tract No. 4, Castoeland. 

Purchase of the French company, Chassanis. 

Black River tract No. 1, now Hounsfield, Hesiod. 
" " " 2, now Watertown, Leghorn. 

" " " 3, now Rutland, Milan. 

" " " 4, now Champion, Howard. 

" 6, now Henderson, Henderson. 
" " " V, now Adams, Aleppo. 

" " 8. now Rodman, Orpheus. 

» No lighthouse has been erected on Carlton island as yet. 
t A manuscript map of 1798 gives the name of Penet's Square as 



Town of Ellisburg, Minos. 

Boylston tract No. 1, now Lorraine, Atticus. 

" " No. 2, now Worth, Fenelon. 

But one of these, Henderson, has since been preserved. 


The judicial system of the State of New York traces its 
genealogy directly from Magna Charta. When the 
mailed barons of England wrested from King John, at 
Runnymede, a.d. 1215, that memorable document, they 
builded better than they knew. They forced from a 
despot rights of which he and his predecessors of the 
Norman line had despoiled the order of nobles, and, al- 
though the great charter recognized certain rights and 
exemptions inuring to the benefit of the tradesmen, crafts- 
men, and " villeins" (serfs) of the realm, yet these were in- 
cluded in the charter, more for the selfish purpose of 
attaching these classes to the barons in the defense of their 
own chartered rights than "for any real human itarianism 
dwelling among the nobility. But the privileges thus 
gained, slight as they were, gave the lower classes a taste 
of the sweets of liberty. These classes, having obtained a 
foothold on the steps leading to the temple of Liberty, kept 
steadily pressing their advantage, until at length they stood 
within the sacred fane itself, free and equal before the law. 
And from this source — the great charter — has flowed the 
stream whereat millions, as well at home in that empire 
" upon whose dominions the sun never sets" as in lands 
then unknown, are quaffing generous draughts which are 
making, slowly perhaps, of one kin " all nations that dwell- 
op the earth." 

The Charters of Liberties granted to the colonists of New 
York by the Duke of York in 1683* and 1691, and after- 
wards repealed by the crown in 1G97, contained several 
clauses almost identical with some of the provisions of 
Magna Charta in point of phraseology, and really so in 
intent and purpose. For instance, tlie principle of the 
broadest humanity in that great charter is thus expressed : 
" We will not sell, we will not defer or deny to any man 
justice or right ;" and the charters of liberties of the 
colony express the same thing substantially. Again, the 
great charter exempted from forced sale and distress for 
debt, or a penalty, the tools of a craftsman, the goods of 
a merchant, and the " wainage" (cattle, plow, and wagon) 
of a "villein;" and the provision of the colonial charter 
corresponding to this, in its quaint phraseology, reads, 
" Thatt a ifreeman shall not bee amerced for a small fault, 
butt after the manner of his fault; and for a great fault 
after the greatnesse thereof, saving to him his ffreehold, 
and a husbandman, saving to him his wainage, and a mer- 
chant likewise saving to him his merchandize ; and none 
of the said amerciaments shall bee assessed, butt by the 
oath of twelve honest and lawful men of the vicinage ; 
provided the faults and misdemeanors be not in contempt 
of courts of judicature."f 

By Magna Charta the right of dower was put upon the 
foundation on which it rests to-day, and the colonial charter 

* Revised Laws of New York, 1813. Appendi.x. 
t Bradford's ed. Colonial Laws of New York. 

has this provision : " No estate of a fFeme covert shall be 
sold or conveyed, butt by deed acknowledged by her in 
some court of record ; the woman being secretly exam- 
ined, if she doth itt freely without threats or compulsion 
of her husband." The homestead rights of the wife, after 
the death of her husband, were also fully defined. Jury 
trials and a grand inquest for the presentment of criminals 
were provided for, and the courts instituted by it had no 
jurisdiction over the freehold without the owner's consent, 
except to satisfy debts by execution or otherwise. The 
following clauses in the colonial charter are also derived 
directly from its famous predecessor : " No fFreeman shall 
bee imprisoned or disseized of his ffreehold or libertye, or 
free customs, or bee outlawed or exiled, or any other wayes 
destroyed, nor shall be passed upon, adjudged or condemned 
butt by lawful! judgment of his peers, and by the laws of 
this province. No man of what condition or estate soever, 
shall be putt out of his lands or tenements, nor be taken 
nor imprisoned nor disinherited, nor banished nor anywayes 
destroyed without being brought to answer by due course 
of law. All lands in this province shall be free from all 
fines and lycences upon alienacous, and from all heriotts, 
wardships, liverys, primier seizins, year, day, and wast 
escheats and forfeitures, upon the death of parents or an- 
cestors, naturall, casuall, and judicial!, and thatt forever, 
cases of High Treason only excepted."! 

Notwithstanding the distinguished parentage of the ju- 
dicial system of New York, the English did not first intro- 
duce the courts into this colony, but rather the Dutch, who 
first settled at New Amsterdam, as they called New York. 
The cities or corporations of New York and Albany (then 
called New Orange) had tribunals known as the mayor and 
aldermen's courts, and the stout old Knickerbocker govern- 
ors themselves were judges and held adjudications. In 
their articles of capitulation (1664) the Dutch stipulated 
that the public records should be preserved and the decisions 
of former courts respected, and that the inferior civil officers 
and magistrates should continue to execute their official 
duties until a pew election, and then new ones should be 
chosen by themselves, the new incumbents to swear alle- 
giance to England. 

The first court of record of English creation in the colony 
we have note of was one established in 1674, called the 
Court of Assizes,§ which had both law and equity jurisdic- 
tion. Town courts and courts of sessions were also held by 
order of the governor. The Court of Assizes was abolished 
in 1684. On October 29, 1683, the General Assembly 
passed the first act regulating courts of justice, which act 
provided for the following tribunals: 

1. A court, composed of three persons commissioned for 
that purpose, to be held monthly throughout the year in 
each town on the first Wednesday of the month, to hear 
and determine small causes and cases of debt and trespass 
to the value of forty shillings and under, without a jury, 
unless one was specially demanded by either party to the 
suit, and then to be summoned and to serve at the expense 
of the party demanding the same. The persons composing 

J Smith's History of New York. 

g Notes to Revised Laws of New York, 1813. 



the court were called commissioners, and one of them issued 
the summons to the party defendant, which must be person- 
ally served or left at his house four days before the sitting 
of the court. 

2. Courts of Sessions yearly and every year in each 
county, to hear, try, and determine all causes, civil or 
criminal, brought therein, with a jury of twelve men of the 
county where the action accrued. The judges of this court 
were the justices of the peace of the respective counties, or 
any three of them. This court had an officer denominated 
" the clarJc of the sessions, or dark of the peace,'' and also 
" one marshal!, or cryer." All processes issued out of the 
clerk's office and to the sheriff. For Albany county, this 
court was first to be held the first Tuesdays in March, June, 
and September, at the town-hall, in the city of Albany. 

3. Annually in each county there were two terms to be 
held of a Court of Oyer and Terminer and General " GaoV 
(as the old records spell it) Delivery, with civil and criminal 
jurisdiction on all matters in controversy, where the monetary 
consideration amounted to five pounds and upwards. This 
court had power to " try, hear, and determine all matters, 
causes, and cases, capitall, criminal!, and civill, and causes, 
tryalls at common law, in and to which said court all and 
every persons whatsoever shall or may, if they see meet, 
remove any action or suit, debts or damages laid in such 
actions or suits, being five pounds and upwards, or shall or 
may, by warrant, writ of error, or certiorari, remove out of 
any inferior court any judgment, informacon, or indictment 
there had and depending, and may correct errors in judg- 
ment, and reverse the same, if there be just for itt." 
A jury of twelve men were to be provided for all parties 
who called for the same. The first term of this court in 
Albany county was the second Wednesday in May, 1G84. 

4. A Court of Chancery, with power to hear and deter- 
mine all matters of equity, and be esteemed and accounted 
the supreme court of the province. The assembly provided 
for the appointment of a Chancellor to hold the court, with 
assistants to be appointed by the governor and council ; but 
the latter powers returned the bill with an. amendment de- 
claring the governor and council to be the Court of Chan- 
cery, with power in the governor to depute a chancellor or 
assistant, etc. 

The right of appeal from any of the courts of Oyer and 
Terminer, General Gaol Delivery, and High Court of Chan- 
cery to " our Sovereign Lord the King," was reserved for 
any of his dutiful subjects, the value of whose disputes or 
matters in question amounted to one hundred pounds and 

The acts of this assembly of 1683, during its various 
sessions, were never approved by " His Royal Highness the 
Duke of York," and the assembly which convened in 
1C91 declared all the legislation of the former body null 
and void.f The assembly, however, provided for the main- 
tenance of courts in 1091 as a temporary act, extending 
their lease of power in 1693 and 1695, and in 1696 the 
Crown repealed the charter of 1691. The courts under the 
charter of 1691 were the Justices' Courts in the towns, the 

* Appendix to Revised Laws of New York, 1813. 
t Journal of Colonial Assembly. 

sessions of the Peace and Common Pleas in the counties, 
and a Supreme Court, the latter composed of one judge and 
six justices, and the city courts of New York and Albany. 
Appeals would lie to the Supreme Court from any inferior 
court in cases of error.J 

An ordinance of the governor (Earl Bellamont) and 
council in May, 1699, reconstructed the courts, as follows: 
Justices were given cognizance of causes involving forty 
shillings, without the intervention of a jury, by taking a 
freeholder to their assistance to hear and determine the 
causes. The summons issued to the constable and ran 
two days. A Court of Common Pleas was provided for 
each county, to begin the next day after the general ses- 
sions ended, which had jurisdiction of all cases at common 
law of any kind or nature soever. Appeals would lie in 
all matters of twenty pounds and upward, or where the 
action touched the title to the freehold. A Supreme Court 
of Judicature was provided for the whole colony, to be held 
at New York, which had cognizance of all pleas, " civil, 
criminal, and mixed, as fully and amply, to all intents and 
purposes whatsoever, as the courts of King's Bench, Com- 
mon Pleas, and Exchequer within His Majesty's King- 
dom of England, have or ought to have." Original juris- 
diction was also given this court, in all civil cases of twenty 
pounds and upwards, or which brought in question the 
right of freehold ; and all suits in the inferior courts com- 
ing within its purvey could be transferred to the supreme 
court for trial. Process to issue under teste of the chief 
justice of the court, and a session of the same to be held 
-at New York twice each year. One of the justices of the 
supreme court was to go the circuit annually, and, with 
two or more justices of the respective counties, hold ses- 
sions of the said court at Albany and the other counties of 
the province. The justices of the supreme court were to 
be appointed by the governor and council, with power to 
hold terms of five days in New York and two days only in 
the other counties. The judges of the several courts were 
empowered to regulate the pleadings and practice of their 
courts, and jury trials were preserved. By an ordinance 
of Governor Cornbury, issued April, 1704, the terms of 
this court were increased to four per annum, and from that 
time till the adoption of the Constitution by the people in 
1777, the supreme court rested upon and was held by the 
authority of those ordinances alone. 

On September 2, 1701, the lieutenant-governor, John 
Nanfan, established by an ordinance a High Court of 
Chancery, declaring himself ex-officio Chancellor ; but, on 
June 13, 1702, the governor. Lord Cornbury, suspended 
its functions until a fee-bill and rules of practice " could 
be arranged agreeable to equity and justice," and the chief 
and second justices of the province were appointed to " con- 
sider and report the best method to render the court most 
useful and least burdensome" to parties litigant. The jus- 
tices having reported. Lord Cornbury accordingly, on No- 
vember 7, 1704, revived the court and the causes depending 
therein, and adopted the fee-bill and rules of practice pre- 
pared by the judges. On November 6, 1735, the general 
assembly adopted a resolution declaring " that a Court of 

X Smith's History of New York. 



Chancery ia this province in the hands or under the exer- 
cise of a governor without consent in the General Assem- 
bly is contrary to law, unwarrantable, and of dangerous 
consequence to the liberties and properties of the people." * 
Several struggles were made by the Colonial Assembly to 
destroy this court,, but without eifect, and Smith observes, 
in his " History of New York," " of all our courts none 
has been more obnoxious to the people than this,"^ — the 
Court of Chancery of the Colony. The court remained, 
however, in the governor's hands until the Revolution, when 
the constitution recognized it as a court and directed a 
Chancellor to be appointed for it. It was reorganized 
March 16, 1778, and continued by the constitution of 
1821, but abolished by that of 1846. In 1848 a code of 
practice for the courts was adopted, whereby the distinction 
between legal and equitable remedies was abolished, as well 
as the old and cumbersome forms of actions and pleadings 
in cases at common law, and a uniform course of proceeding 
in all cases established. The code was revised in 1876, and 
amended in 1877, and took effect September 1 of the latter 

The charter of 1683 provided for the attestation of wills 
by two witnesses, and when so attested declared them com- 
petent to pass the title to land, if filed in the ofiice of the 
secretary of the colony within forty days after the death of 
the testator. The charter of 1691 vested the governor 
with probate powers, and styled the tribunal the prerogative 
court, and in 1694 the assembly provided for the super- 
vising of intestacies, and regulating probates of wills and 
administration, — the widow, if any, to have the preference; 
if no widow, then administration to be referred to the pub- 
lic administrator, who was to educate the orphans, if any, 
in the " Holy Protestant Religion, and see they were hon- 
estly maintained, according to the value of their estate," 
and their estate invested for them to be received by them 
on attaining their majority or marrying. Wills in remote 
counties were allowed to be proven before courts of Com- 
mon Pleas, and certified to the Secretary's office in New 
York. Appeals would lie from the courts or justices to 
the governor. If the estate did not exceed fifty pounds in 
value the courts of Common Pleas could grant administra- 
tion. On March 24, 1772, the law of intestacies and pro- 
bate of wills was extended to Tryon county. The first 
constitution recognizes the Court of Probates, and at the 
first session of the Legislature, in 1778, the judge of that 
court was vested with the same powers that the governor 
of the colony had as judge of thu prerogative court. The 
judge of this court was appointed for the entire State, and 
granted letters of administration and probates of wills for 
his entire jurisdiction. Surrogates for the counties were 
provided for also by appointment of the council of appoint- 
ment. On February 20, 1787, the appointment of surro- 
gates was given to the governor, and they were given juris- 
diction of probate matters in their respective counties, the 
Court of Probates of the State possessing appellate powers 
over the surrogates. The old colonial law fur the super- 
vising of estates was repealed. The office of surrogate was 
abolished by the constitution of 1846, and a County Judge 

^ Journal of Assembly, page 687. 

provided, who, besides holding the county court, has also 
probate jurisdiction. In counties of more than 40,000 
population a surrogate may be elected. 

In 1702 a Court of Exchequer was established in the 
colony, which had cognizance of sundry governmental claims 
against other parties. In 1786 the Legislature created a 
court under that title, which was to be held in the city of 
New York, by one of the justices of the Supreme Court, 
and had cognizance of all claims arising in favor of the 
State on fines, forfeitures, issues, amerciaments, and debts. 
This court was re-established in 1813,-(-by the revised laws, 
but did not survive the constitution that passed away in 
1821, on the adoption of the new one. 

The constitution of 1777 recognized the following courts : 
Admiralty, Chancery, Supreme, Common Pleas, Oyer and 
Terminer and General Gaol Delivery, General Sessions of 
the Peace, the Court of Probates, City Courts, and Justices 
of the Peace ; and provided for a Court of Impeachment 
and Correction of Errors, under regulations to be established 
by the Legislature. The court consisted of the president 
of the Senate for the time being, the senators, chancellor, 
and the judges of the Supreme Court, or a majority of 

In 1786 the Legislature provided for Circuit Courts, to 
be held by the justices of the Supreme Court, in each county, 
cognizable of all causes tryable by the county at the common 
law. In 1813 special sessions of the peace, held by three 
justices in the towns, were provided for petty crimes and 
misdemeanors, where the defendant could not give bail to 
the general sessions of the county. The courts under the 
first constitution were continued by the second one, which 
latter was ratified by the people January 15 to 17, 1822. 

The constitution of 1846 recognized and continued the 
courts under the constitution of 1821, except those of 
Chancery and Common Pleas, and in addition created the 
Court of Appeals and the County Courts. The Court of 
Appeals had its origin in the powers of the original Court 
of Impeachment for " the correction of errors." These 
latter powers were abrogated by the constitution of 1846, 
and the Court of Appeals created by Sec. 2 of Art. VI. 
of that instrument, which court occupies the place in the 
judicial system which the original court for the correction 
of errors did. It was, when first constituted, composed of 
eight judges, — four elected by the people of the State for 
eight years, and four selected from the class of justices of 
the Supreme Court having the shortest time to serve. On 
November 2, 1869, the people ratified an amendment to 
the constitution, prepared by the convention of 1867-68, 
whereby, among other changes in the judiciary effected 
thereby, the court of Appeals was reorganized as it now 
exists, being composed of a chief judge and six associate 
judges, who are chosen by the people of the State for 
terms of fourteen years each. This court has power to re- 
view every actual determination made at a general term of 
the Supreme court, or by either of the Superior city courts, 
in certain cases and under certain limitations. The Supreme 
court has the same jurisdiction it originally had, with the 
exceptions, additions, and limitations created and imposed 

f Notes to act in revised laws, 1813. 


by the constitution and statutes, and has appellate jurisdic- 
tion over all courts of original jurisdiction not otherwise 
specifically provided for. Appeals also will lie from certain 
limited judgments of the court itself to a general term 
of the same, which are held at least once a year in each of 
the four judicial departments of the State. Jefferson County 
being included in the fourth, which is composed of the fifth, 
seventh, and eighth judicial districts,— Jefferson being in- 
cluded also in the fifth district. The general terms are held 
by one presiding and two associate justices, designated as 
term justices, but all of them of the Supreme bench. Any 
justice of the Supreme court may hold the Circuit courts, 
special terms of the Supreme court, or courts of Oyer and 
Terminer, the terms of which are appointed by the justices 
of the department, who also assign the particular justices 
to hold the courts in the respective counties. 

The County courts, created by the constitution of 1846, 
have jurisdiction of all actions of partition, dower, fore- 
closure, and specific performance, the action accruing in the 
respective county ; and to actions generally where the amount 
involved in controversy does not exceed SIOOO in value, 
where the defendants are in the county at the commence- 
ment of the action. This court is held by the county 
judge, and who, associated with two justices of the peace, 
may hold courts of the Sessions of the Peace, with such 
criminal jurisdiction as may be provided by law. 

The constitution of 1777 continued in force such parts 
of the common law of England, and the statute law of 
England and Great Britain, and acts of the Colonial legis- 
lature of New York, as together formed the law of the 
colony April 19, 1775, subject to further amendment or 
repeal by the proper authority. The resolves of the Pro- 
vincial Congress -of the colony, which existed from the 
early part of 1775 to 1777, as also the resolutions of the 
convention of the State, not inconsistent with the constitu- 
tion, were adopted as law. Anything in any of the above- 
quoted legislation repugnant to the constitution was abro- 
gated and rejected. The constitution also provides for the 
trial by jury and the naturalization of aliens. The consti- 
tution of 1821 still continued in force the common law of 
England, and the colonial laws not repealed or repugnant 
to the provisions of that instrument. Courts of the Ses- 
sions of the Peace were provided for the county of Albany, 
April 17, 1691,* with three tei'ms per year, and a court of 
Common Pleas, from which no appeal or habeas corpus 
would lie on matters under twenty pounds in controversy. 
The old Justices of the Peace of the colony were to be 
" good and lawful men of the best reputation, and who be 
no maintainers of evil or barretors." 

In 1778 the Legislature declared that paper would an- 
swer in legal proceedings and documents in emergent cases, 
and its use was held not to invalidate proceedings in the 
courts, notwithstanding the requirement of vellum for such 
purposes previously. In 1798 paper was still further ad- 
vanced in respectability in the courts, being declared lawful 
for use in the Supreme and Chaneeiy courts for all purposes 
except for the processes of the courts, for wliieh parch- 
ment continued to be used. The court of G-eneral Sessions 

* Journal of Assembly of colony. 

of the Peace under the first constitution had jurisdiction in 
all cases where the penalty was not confinement for life 
or the death penalty. In 1796 the criminal code was 
ameliorated, and State's-prisons first directed to be estab- 
lished. Previous to this, most of the offenses punishable 
by imprisonment for life were under the death penalty. 
The claim of "benefit of clergy" by criminals was abolished 
in New York February 21, 1788. In May, 1788, the 
statutes of England and Great Britain were abolished. 
The first fee-bill established by law was dated May 24, 
1709. The courts of Common Pleas, established by the 
ordinance of the colonial governor in 1699, was the begin- 
ning of the courts of General Sessions. Imprisonment for 
debt was abolished in New York April 26, 1831. 

In 1815 the jury list of Jefferson County was materially 
augmented by extending the right to serve as jurors to 
persons holding contracts for lands who had improved the 
lands to the value of one hundred and fifty dollars, or had 
personal property to that amount. Freeholders only had 
been lawful jurors previous to this time; but, owing to the 
fact that the bulk of the Jefferson County farmers held 
their farms only by contract, the burden came heavily 
upon the balance of the community, besides depriving the 
courts of a valuable class of jurors; hence the legislation 
above referred to. 


As will be seen by a referenoe to the act erecting Jeffer- 
- son and Lewis counties, in the early part of this chapter, 
courts of Conmion Pleas and General Sessions of the Peace 
were directed to be hold in Jefferson County, the first term 
to begin on the second Tuesday of June of each year. 
This act passed May 28, 1805, but there was no court 
held in the county, so far as the records show, until May, 
1807. The same act provided that no Circuit Court, or 
courts of Oyer and Terminer and General Gaol Delivery, 
were to be held in the said counties until the justices of the 
Supreme court deemed it necessary. A term of the general 
sessions was " held at the school-housef next south of Jon- 
athan Cowan's mills, in Watertown," on the second Tues- 
day of May, 1807, with the following presence: Honorables 
Augustus Sacket, Joshua Bealls, and Perley Keyes, judges; 
Thomas White, associate justice; Egbert Ten Eyck, clerk. 
At this term of the court, Frederick Avery and William 
Andrews were each fined ten dollars for defaulting as grand 
jurors, but at the next term they came before the court and 
purged themselves of their contempt by sufficient swearing. 
George Brown and Nathaniel Peck were discharged from 
their recognizance, no person appearing against them. 
Samuel Brown, Jr., was indicted for an assault and bat- 
tery, pleaded guilty, and was fined ten dollars and costs. 
Charles Noles, for a similar indiscretion and open confes- 
sion, received absolution on payment of two dollars and a 
half and costs. John Brown, on a similar charge, stood 
his trial, and was found not guilty. Seven other recogni- 
zances were discharged for want of prosecution, and Apple- 
ton Skinner was fined ten dollars for default in attendance 
on the court as constable, but at the next term of the court 

f On the site of the present Univcrsalist church. 



he convfeced their Honors it would be unjust to enforce 
the collection of the same, and it was remitted. 

The second term of the court was held at the same place, 
on the second Tuesday of August, 1807, with the same 
presence except Judge Sacket. One Studlcy was convicted 
of grand larceny, the judgment of the court thereon ar- 
rested, and the case continued until the December term of 
the court. Amasa Fox was indicted for sending a chal- 
lenge to fight a duel, and Benjamin Allen was similarly 
dealt with for accepting the above challenge, and both 
parties recognized to the court of Oyer and Terminer. In 
that court the parties were discharged, no one appearing to 
prosecute. At the December term, 1807, of the General 
Sessions there were seven indictments found. 


held its first term in 1807, beginning on the second Tues- 
day of May, and holding its sessions in the school-house 
before mentioned, near Cowan's mills. The court was held 
with the following presence : Hon. Augustus Sacket, first 
judge; Joshua Bealls and Perley Keyes, judges; Thomas 
White, assistant justice. The first trial was a case between 
James Mitchell and William Ashby, Mr. How appearing 
for F. Skinner, attorney for the plaintifi". The jury were 
Elijah Richmond, Gad Chapin, Zachariah Butterfield, 
Aaron Keyes, Cornelius Van "Wornier, Leonard Bullock, - 
Thomas Potter, Stoel Warner, Noadiah Hubbard, Wm. 
Sampson, Wm. Dockstadter, and Powell Hall, who gave 
their verdict for the plaintiiF, and assessed' his damages at 
thirty-seven dollars and forty-eight cents, and his costs at 
six^cents. J. W. Bostwick was the attorney for the de- 
fendant. Besides this suit, Mr. Bostwick had ten interlo- 
cutory judgments entered up, on an order for the clerk to 
assess the damages, on which report final judgment was 
rendered, aggregating $463.10. S. C. Kennedy, another 
attorney, had judgment similarly entered, amounting to 
$226.41, and on confession, $1033. B. Skinner took inter- 
locutory judgments, supplemented by a final decree, to the 
amount of $126, and E. Camp, by confession, to the amount 
of $272. In the case of Ebenezer Griffin vs. Richard Thomp- 
son, the sheriff having taken the body of the defendant on 
a capias for debt, he was ordered to produce the said corpus 
during the sitting of the court or show cause why an 
attachment should not issue against him, and the defendant 
was ordered to plead in thirty days or judgment would be 
entered by default. There were seventy orders of this 
kind entered at this term of the court. Bostwick had 
thirty-one cases on the docket, Kennedy thirty-nine. Skin- 
ner twenty, Elisha Camp six, S. Whittlesey four, and J. 
Kirkland two. The second term of this court was held 
on the second Tuesday of August, 1807, with the same 
presence, excepting Judge Sacket. Evan Salisbury was 
declared a bankrupt, and De Estaing Salisbury appointed 
his assignee. Benjamin Bemis, an insolvent debtor, was 
discharged from his debts and imprisonment on account 
thereof at this term. Thomas Y. How, Moss Kent, and 
Amos Benedict appeared before the court as attorneys at 
this term, and the court adopted the rules of the Supreme 
Court for the admission of attorneys and counsellors to prac- 
tice in the court, but abolished the distinction between the 

two titles of a lawyer aforesaid. The court, moreover, 
required foreign attorneys to produce certificates of having 
studied law three years in some local law office in the State 
of New York. 

The third term of this court was held in December, 1807. 
At the July term, 1821, of this court, the first alien was 
naturalized in the Jefferson courts, the same being Charles 
Morton, a subject of George IV., King of Great Britain. 
In October of the same year John Foot, also an English- 
man, declared his intentions to become a citizen of the 
United States, and in 1827 Isaac J. Ullmann, a native of 
Frankfort-on-the-Rhine, where he was born in 1798, and 
from whence, he emigrated in 1822. was admitted to citi- 
zenship. He afterwards removed to St. Joseph county, 
Michigan, where for many years he was a prominent citizen, 
serving several terms in the legislature, and finally removing 
to Wisconsin, where he at present resides. 

The court of Common Pleas was abolished in 1846 by 
the constitution then adopted, which provided county courts 
in its stead. 

The first term of the County Court of Jefferson County 
was held August 16, 1847, Judge Robert Lansing pre- 

Tradition says that after the formal adjournment, the 
first court (which was held, as before stated, in the school- 
house) became a scene of fun and frolic, which has since 
been seldom equaled. The greater part of the settlers were 
young or middle-aged men, and some were " fond of a social 
glass." The customs of the day did not discountenance 
practical joking, and athletic games were invariably the ac- 
companiment of all gatherings. Moreover, they had been 
just organized, and must have business for their courts, else 
what need of having courts? No one was exempt from 
the jurisdiction of the court ad interim, and did any one 
try to evade process, he was at once accused of a crime 
more flagrant in the code of the tribunal than all others, 
" sneakism," and forthwith arraigned before the "grave and 
reverend seigneurs" (?j, where conviction was certain and 
prompt, and the penalty "a quarter," imposed for the bene- 
fit of the court and its supporters. Among other charges, 
one was preferred against Esq. H., of Rutland, a man of 
very sober and candid character, who was charged with 
stealing. Conscious of innocence, he offered to be searched, 
when a quantity of dough was found in both pockets of his 
coat. Thus implicated by circumstances he could not ex- 
plain, he was fined. Another was accused of falling asleep, 
and fined a shilling for contempt, and to pay for his lodging ; 
another was fined a like sum for smoking in the court-room, 
and thus lowering the dignity of the proceedings. After 
paying the penalty, he resumed his pipe, and was again 
arraigned, but he pleaded a new statute of limitations, that 
the fine previously assessed was for a pipe-full, which he 
had not finished, and beside that, his comfort could not 
twice be put in jeopardy by the same tribunal. These 
pleas afforded a subject for discussion that elicited the re- 
search and ability of the lawyers present. As the avowed 
intention was to make business for all of the new officers, 
one person was stripped and laid out on a board, loosely 
covered with cloth, and the coroner sent for, .who at once 
proceeded to " sit upon" the subject, when the board tipped 



up, and the corpus disappeared, in naturalihus, instanter. 
The sheriff found business by dragging from his conceal- 
ment one who had fled to a garret to escape the rigorous 
penakies of the mock court. He was taken before the 
tribunal, who decided upon the evidence adduced that his 
failing was a disease rather than a crime, and required for 
its eradication an enema. This carnival was continued the 
second day, and although the officers of the court affected 
to abstain from the froHo, yet judicial dignity offered no ex- 
emption, and all parties were compelled to join. Companies 
distinguished by personal peculiai ities were paraded under 
officers selected for the prominence of these traits, as "long 
noses," etc., while the little, short men were organized into 
a party, and charged with the duty of " keeping the cats 

This tradition is verified by the fact that the board of 
supervisors allowed at their meeting in October, 1807, two 
bills for damages done to the house of Samuel Whittlesey, 
in process of building, at the time of the first court. 

The first term of the Court of Oyer and Terminer and 
General Gaol Delivery was held in the county on June 17, 
1807, at the same school-house near Cowan's mills, in 
Watertown, with the following presence: Hon. Smith 
Thompson, justice; Augustus Sacket, Joshua Bealls, and 
Perley Keyes, judges; Lyman Ellis, associate justice; 
Egbert Ten Eyck, clerk; Nathan Williams, district attor- 
ney. The first case tried was one of the people against a 
prominent citizen of the county, indicted for rape ; but a 
jury composed of Moses Miller, Jonathan Treadway, Wil- 
liam Hadscll, Oliver Scott, Nathaniel Johnson, Caleb Ellis, 
Alanson Dresser, Alpheus Coleman, Abiah Jenkins, P. 
Redway, Levi Butterfield, and John Hathaway, said their 
neighbor was not guilty, after hearing seven witnesses for 
the prosecution (three of them ladies) and twelve for the 
defense testify. The second trial was on an indictment for 
an assault and battery, the defendant being convicted of the 
assault only, and fined ten dollars. The third trial was that 
of Patrick McGinnis, on a charge of larceny, of which he 
was acquitted by twelve of his peers. The next term was 
held June 20, 1808, Chief-Justice Kent presiding, with 
Judges Clark, Sacket, and White, and Associate Justice 
Corlis Hinds. Besides other bu.siness transacted, seven 
constables were fined five dollars each, — for what cause the 
record does not show. The next term of the court, begun 
June 9, 180!), was held at the court-house, Hon. Joseph C. 
Yates, justice, and Judges Clark, Bealls, and White, pres- 
ent, and Samuel Whittlesey, district attorney. Stephen 
Rawson was tried for, and convicted of, passing counterfeit 
money, Oliver Taylor was tried for the same offense and 
acquitted, and James Goft", indicted for grand larceny, ' 
pleaded guilty. The court sentenced Rawson to the State's 
prison for fourteen years, and Goff for three and a half 
years, and fined Gershom Tuttle and Jabez Foster ei"-ht 
dollars each for non-appearance as grand jurors. At the 
June term (1810) of the court there were four persons 
tried for making and passing counterfeit money, con- 
victed and sentenced to State's prison as follows : one, for 
counterfeiting gold coin, for life; two, for counterfeiting 

■''■' Hough. 

bank-notes, twelve years ; and one, for passing counterfeit 
bank-notes, for ten years. One man was convicted of grand 
larceny and received three years, and another received like 
sentence for attempting to break jail. At the June term 
(1812) Wm. W. Van Ness, justice of the Supreme Court, 
presiding, John Johnson Blann was convicted of forgery, 
and sentenced to the State's prison for life. At the June 
term (1814) the grand jury found eight indictments for 
larceny, one for murder, one for' rape, two for forgery, and 
two for assault and battery. The rapist was sentenced to 
State's prison for life, the stealers went to the same safe- 
keeping and the county jail fur different periods of time. 
June 16, 1828, Henry Evans was convicted of murder, and 
sentenced to be hanged August 20. 

The first Circvit Court was held June 20, 1808, Chief- 
Justice Kent presiding, and also present Judges Sacket, 
Clark, and White, and Corlis Hinds, associate justice. The 
first civil suit tried was that of Aaron Davis against Robert 
Stewart, impleaded with Barzillai Willey, and a jury gave 
a verdict in favor of the plaintiff, and assessed his damages 
at $130.81. The next court was held June 19, 1809, at 
which there were had five jury trials, resulting in awards of 
damages amounting to $1061, and one non-suit. At the 
June term, 1811, there were eleven jury trials, resulting in 
the award of damages aggregating $4050. At the June 
term, 1812, Gerrit Smith was a plaintiff with the Tall- 
madges, and one David Wadhams and David Thompson, 
against Jonathan and Aaron Davis, defendants, wherein the 
plaintiffs recovered $.302.81 in damages. 

At the first term of the Circuit Court the following 
attorneys appear of record before the court, viz., I. Bost- 
wick, S. C. Kennedy, B. Skinner, S. Whittlesey, Lyman 
Blunson, Thomas Skinner, Ela Collins, and Micah Sterling. 
At the third term Egbert Ten Eyck, Amos Benedict, S. S. 
Breese (afterwards Judge of the Supreme Court of Illinois 
for n! any years), H. R. Storrs, and B. Skinner appeared. 

A special term of the Svpreme Covrt was held in 
Watertown on the third Monday of December, 1847, Hon. 
William F. Allen, justice, presiding ; and a general term of 
the same court was held July 4, 1848, Justices Gridley, 
Pratt, and Allen being present. At this term John T. 
Newcomb and De Witt C. Priest were admitted to the bar. 

THE surrogate's COURT. 

Owing to the loss of the records and files of this court 
by fire previous to 1830, the actual date of the first session 
of the same cannot be obtained, nor an abstract of its early 
business. The records of the court were kept at the private 
offices of the surrogates who from time to time presided 
over the court, and in one of the destructive conflagrations 
which have laid waste the business portions of the city, 
the valuable documents intrusted to that tribunal previous 
to the year before named are irrecoverably lost. The seal 
of the surrogate consists of the words "Jefferson County 
Surrogate Seal" in a circle around the words " The End" 
in the centre. 


who have held the foregoing-named courts of Jefferson 
County are as follows; 



The courts of Common Pleas and General Sessions — 
first judges: Augustus Sacket, February 26, 1807; Moss 
Kent, February 26, 1810; Abel Cole, February 26, 
1818; Egbert Ten Eyck, November 1-1, 1820; Calvin 
McKnight, January 29, 1829; Thomas C. Chittenden, 
February 28, 1840 ; Calvin Skinner, January 25, 1845. 

Judges under the first and second constitutions, with the 
year of their first appointment: 1805, Joshua Bealls, Perley 
Keyes; 1806, Isaac Conklin, Augustus Sacket; 1809, 
Joseph Clark, Lyman Ellis, Thomas White ; 1811, John 
Durkee; 1812, Eliphalet Edmonds; 1813, Ethel Bronson, 
John Brown, Joel Doolittle, Noadiah Hubbard, Jabez 
Foster, Clark Allen; 1814, Jesse Hopkins; 1815, Abel 
Cole ; 1818, William Robinson, Amasa Trowbridge, Elijah 
Fields, Jr., Aaron Palmer, Calvin McKnight; 1820, Hart 
Massey, Samuel C. Kennedy; 1821, Hiram Steel, Richard 
Groodale, Joseph Hawkins; 1823, Egbert Ten Eyck, Zeno 
Allen, Alpheus S. Greene, Eliphalet Edmonds, Joseph 
Hawkins; 1824, Daniel Wardwell ; 1829, Benjamin 
Wright, Zeno Allen, John Macomber, George Brown ; 
1834, the same were appointed ; 1840, Hiram Carpenter, 

E. Ten Eyck, M. K. Stowe, E. G. Merrick; 1841, John 
Thurman, Hiram Dewey; 1843, G. C. Sherman; 1845, 
Jason Clark ; 1846, Thomas Wait, Joseph Boyer. 

Assistant justices (under the first constitution), 1805: 
Thomas White, William Hunter, Lyman Ellis, Ethni 
Evans; 1807, Asa Brayton, Corlis Hinds; 1811, Abel 
Cole, William Huntingdon, James Henderson, Jr. ; 1813, 
Jesse Hopkins, Jonathan Davis, Wolcott Hubbell, George 
White; 1814, William Baker; 1815, Converse Johnson, 
James ShurtlifF, Seth Peck, Asa Smith, Elijah Fields, Jr., 
Amasa Trowbridge, Melvin MoflFatt, Daniel Sterling; 1818, 
Henry H. Sherwood, John S. Porter, John Macomber, 
Thomas Brayton. 

The Circuit Judges, under the constitution of 1821 
(appointed by the governor and senate), were Nathan Wil- 
liams, April 21, 1823; Hiram Denio, May 6, 1834; Philo 
Gridley, July 16, 1838 ; S. Beardsley was appointed in 
1834, and J. H. Bronson in 1838, but neither served. 

Under the present constitution the county judges were 
elected at first for four years, but, under the amendments 
of 1869, their terms are for six years. They hold the 
county courts. The first county judge was elected in 
June, 1847, the same being Robert Lansing. He was 
succeeded by William C. Thompson, in November, 1851. 
The succession has been as follows since Judge Thompson, 
who held the position until 1860 : Charles D. Wright, 
1860-68; Azariah H. Sawyer, 1869-77, and the present 

Justices of Sessions were provided also by the present 
constitution, who are also elective officers, being designated 
from among the justices of the peace, and have been as fol- 
lows: 1847, Samuel Boyden ; 1849-50, George Brown; 
1850, Dexter Wilder, A. S. Babcock ; 1851, Dexter Wil- 
der, Medad Cook, Henry Lord; 1853, George A. Gates, 
Eleazer W. Lewis; 1854, William D. Lewis, Hosea B. 
Hayes ; 1855, Albert H. Davis and De Witt C. Priest ; 
1856, Jonathan Munsell and John Fassett ; 1857, John 

F. Latimer, Hosea B. Hayes; 1858, Bradford K. Hawes, 
Geo. K. Cornwell; 1859, Almond Buell and Cornwell ; 

1860, Isaac S. Main, Hosea B. Hayes; 1861, Henry 
Hitchcock and Hayes ; 1862-65, Reuben H. Potter and 
Hayes; 1865, Potter and Geo. F. Bartlett; 1866, Bartlett 
and J. Snell ; 1867, Allen Nims, Horace M. Wilds; 1868- 
69, Carlton C. Moore and Wilds; 1870-71, Geo. F. Bart- 
lett and John Parker; 1872, Bartlett and Erwin F. Rams- 
dell; 1873, Ramsdell and Lysander H. Brown; 1874, 
Brown and Ezra D. Hilts; 1875, Hilts and George E. 
Tucker; 1876, Brown and Hilts; 1877, Brown and John 
F. Cook. 

Surrogates (appointed previous to 1847, and elected 
since then) have been as follows : Benjamin Skinner, April 
13, 1805; John M. C.mfield, March 15, 1811; Elisha 
Camp, February 28, 1813; David Perry, June 27, 1815; 
Lyman Munson, April 2, 1816 ; Benjamin Wright, Feb- 
ruary 26, 1820 ; L. Munson, February 13, 1821 ; B. Wright, 
March 27, 1827 ; John Clarke, February 28, 1840 ; Na- 
thaniel B. Wardwell, February 28, 1844, who held the ap- 
pointment till his death, February 15, 1847, when John 
Clarke was re-appointed. The first surrogate elected was 
Levi H. Brown, in Juno, 1847. The succession since then 
has been : James R. A. Perkins, November, 1851-59 ; 
Milton H. Merwin, 1860-63 ; D. M. Bennett, 1864-67 ; 
William W. Taggart, 1868-77, and the present incum- 

Local officer to discharge the duties of surrogate, called 
Special Surrogate. — Geo. W. Hungerford, 1849 ; Isaac 
Van Vleck, 1851-54; Milton H. Merwin, 1855-57; 
Lafayette J. Bigelow, 1858-60; Samuel D. Barr, 1861- 
63; A. H. Sawyer, 1864-65; W. W. Taggart, 1866-67; 
Ross C. Scott, 1868-77, and present incumbent. 

Special County Judges. — Thomas P. Saunders, 1849— 
55 ; David J. Wager, 1856-61 ; A. J. Brown, 1862-65 ; 
J. B. Emmcs, 1866-77; and present incumbent. 

The courts of justice which exercise jurisdiction over the 
people of Jefferson County, within the bounds of the Fed- 
eral and State constitutions, at the present time, are as 
follows : 

The Supreme Court op the United States. — 
Morrison R. Waite, Ohio, chief justice, appointed 1874; 
Nathan Clifford, Portland, Maine, associate justice, 1858 ; 
Ward Hunt, Utica, N. Y., associate justice, 1873 ; Wm. 
Strong, Philadelphia, Penn., associate justice, 1870 ; Joseph 
P. Bradley, Newark, N. J., associatejustice, 1870 ; Noali H. 
Swayne, Columbus, Ohio, associate justice, 1862 ; David 
Davis, Bloomington, 111., associate justice, 1862 ; Samuel 
P. Miller, Keokuk, Iowa, associate justice, 1862 ; Stephen 
J. Field, San Francisco, Cal., associate justice, 1863; 
D. Wesley Middlcton, of Washington, clerk; William T. 
Otto, of Indiana, reporter ; John G. Nicolay, of Illinois, 
marshal. The court holds one general term at Washing- 
ton, D. C, commencing on the second Monday in Oc- 

The Circuit Court of the United States, for the 
second circuit (including New York, Vermont, and Con- 
necticut). — Judges: Ward Hunt, associate justice ; Alex- 
ander S. Johnson, circuit judge ; and the district judge- 
Terms of this court are held for the Northern District of 
New York at Albany, 2d Tuesday in October ; Canandai- 
gua, 3d Tuesday in June ; also adjourned term, for civil 



business only, at Albany 3d Tuesday in January, and at 
Utica 3d Tuesday in March. Charles Mason, clerk Northern 
Division, office at Utica. 

The District Court of the United States, for 
the Northern District of New York.— William J. Wallace, 
district judge, Syracuse ; Richard Crowley, district attorney, 
Lockport; Winfield Robbins, clerk, Buffalo; Isaac F. 
Quiniby, marshal, Rochester. The terms of the court are 
held as follows : Albany, 3d Tuesday in January ; Utica, 
3d Tuesday in March ; Rochester, 2d Tuesday in May ; 
Buffalo, 3d Tuesday in August ; Auburn, 3d Tuesday in 
November. Special terms are held by appointment at 
Oswego, Plattsburgh, or Watertown ; and a special session 
in Admiralty at Buffalo on Tuesday of each week. 

The Court op Appeals op New York. — Sanford 
B. Church, Albion, chief judge, term expires Dec. 31, 1884. 
Associate Judges, William F. Allen, Oswego, term expires 
Deo. 31, 1878 ; Charles A. Rapallo, New York city, term 
expires Dec. 31, 1884; Charles Andrews, Syracuse, term 
expires Dec. 31, 1884; Charles J. I'ulger, Geneva, term 
expires Dec. 31, 1884; Theodore Miller, Hudson, term ex- 
pires Dec. 31, 1886 ; Robert Earl, Herkimer, term expires 
Deo. 31, 1890. Edwin 0. Perrin, clerk, Jamaica; F. 
Stanton Perrin, deputy clerk, Albany; Hiram E. Sickels, 
reporter, Albany ; Amos Dodge, crier, Albany ; Andrew J. 
Chester, attendant, Albany ; Jeremiah Cooper, attendant, 

The Supreme Court op New York. — The general 
terms of the Fourth Judicial department, holden by Joseph 
Mullin, presiding justice, Watertown; John L. Taloott and 
James C. Smith, associate justices. 

The Circuit Courts and Courts op Oyer and 
Terminer, and Special Terms, held in Jefferson County, 
in the Fifth Judicial district, on the 1st Monday of April, 
and 2d Mondays in June and November, by justices of 
the Supreme Court, as assigned by the term justices. The 
judges of the Fifth Judicial district are as follows: Joseph 
Mullin, Watertown, term expires Dec. 31, 1881; George 
A. Hardin, Little Falls, term expires Dec. 31, 1885 ; Mil- 
ton H. Mervvin, Utica, term expires Deo. 31, 1888; James 
Noxon, Syracuse, term expires Dec. 31, 1888; Watson M. 
Rogers, district attorney, Watertown, term expires Deo. 31, 
1877 ; George Cole, clerk, Watertown, term expires Dec. 
31, 1879; Abner W. Peck, sheriff, Watertown, term ex- 
pires Dee. 31, 1878; Justin W. Weeks, crier, Watertown, 
from 1860 to 1877. 

The County Court. — Judge, Azariah li. Sawyer, 
Watertown, term expires Dec. 31, 1877 ; Clerk, George W. 
Cole, Watertown, term expires Deo. 31, 1879 ; Sheriff, 
Abner W. Peck, Watertown, term expires Dec. 31, 1878 ; 
Special Judge, John B. Emmes, Carthage, term expires 
Dec. 31, 1877. 

The Court op General Sessions.— Judge, Azariah 
H. Sawyer, Watertown, terra expires Dec. 31, 1877 ; Jus- 
tices of the Sessions, Lysander H. Brown and John F. 
Cook, terms expire Dec. 31, 1877. 

The Surrogate Court.— Surrogate, William W. Tag- 
gart, Watertown, term expires Deo. 31, 1877; Special 
Surrogate, Ross C. Scott, Watertown, term expires Deo 
31, 1877. 

the board op supervisors. 

The board of supervisors, as the fiscal manager of the 
county, has come down from the "good old colony times, 
when we lived under the king," and dates its beginning in an 
act of the colonial assembly of New York, passed in April, 
1 691.* By this act it was provided that the freeholders of 
the colony should elect two assessors and one supervisor in 
their respective towns ; the foimer to assess and establish 
the rates on each freeholder and inhabitant, and deliver the 
list to the supervisor, who took it up to a general meeting 
of the supervisors of the county, who ordered the same col- 
lected by the constables or collectors of the several towns. 
The supervisors as a board also elected a county treasurer, 
who received and disbursed the funds for county charges. 
This act was repealed October 18, 1701, and courts of gen- 
eral or special sessions, held by the justices of the peace of 
the county, or any five of them, were created, to make the 
necessary levies of taxes and audit claims, and certify the 
same to two assessors and a collector in each town for col- 
lection 2>'''o rata. This court also appointed the county 
treasurer. On June 19, 1703, the supervisors were re- 
stored again and put in charge of the strong box of the 
treasury, and the courts of sessions relieved of the care of 
the financial interests of the county, and the supervisors 
required to meet as a board at the county town, annually, 
on the first Tuesday in October, and at such other times as 
they might deem proper for the transaction of their busi- 
ness. The board received back again, also, the power of 
appointment of county treasurer, who was allowed a six- 
pence on the pound for his fees, the collectors getting nine- 
pence for their fees of collection. The system of the 
supervisors has been continued under the several constitu- 
tions of the State to the present time. 

The first meeting of the board of supervisors of Jefferson 
County convened October 1, 1805, in the school-house in 
Watertown, near Jonathan Cowan's mills, and was com- 
posed of the following supervisors : Noadiah Hubbard, of 
Champion ; Clift French, of Rutland ; Corlis Hinds, of 
Watertown ; John W. Collins, of Brownville ; Nicholas 
Salisbury, of Adams ; Thomas White, of Harrison (now 
Rodman) ; Lyman Ellis, of Ellisburg ; and Asa Brown, of 
Malta (now Lorraine). They "resolved" Mr. Hubbard 
into the presidency of the board, and adjourned the meet- 
ing until three o'clock p.m., at the house of Abijah Put- 
nam, and met accordingly at the time and place appointed. 
They then proceeded to elect by ballot a clerk, Zelotes 
I-Iarvey, and a county treasurer, Benjamin Skinner, and 
required the latter official to furnish security in $5000 for 
the faithful discharge of his duties, which he subsequently 
did, Jacob Brown (afterwards major-general of the United 
States army in the war of 1812) becoming his pledge and 
bondsman. They ordered the clerk to get stationery for 
their use, and adjourned till the next morning. On the 
second day they appointed Messrs. Hinds and" Ellis as a 
committee to examine the assessment rolls of the several 
towns, and told themselves off in couples to audit the various 
charges against the towns. Messrs. French, White, and 
Hinds were appointed to procure a conveyance of the court- 

' Bradford's Ed. Colonial Laws. 



house site, which they subsequently did fi-om Henry and 
Amos Coftben, S. C. Kennedy being allowed $2 for 
drafting the document. 

David Park'er was allowed §44.43 for conveying a pris- 
onerto Whitestown (Oneida county) jail. Harrison Mosely's 
bill for apprehending a prisoner and conveying him to the 
same place of confinement, amounting to $40.97, was re- 
duced to $33.50, ,and allowed at those figures. Robinson 
Pacey, a witness in the case last named, was allowed S10.C2 
for his attendance at Whitestown. Hart Massey was ap- 
pointed sealer of weights and measures, and $45 appropri- 
ated and placed in his hands to procure standards with 
which to perform his acts. He expended S30 more than 
the appropriation, and the next board allowed him the ex- 
cess. Henry Coff'eon, county clerk, was allowed $5.80 for ser- 
vices as such ofiicer, and 829 for stationery and blank books. 
Six dollars also were allowed justices for criminal services. 
The bills of the commissioners to locate the site of the 
court-house and jail, $202, were allowed, and the clerk of 
the board was granted $17 for eight days' service and a 
bill of stationery. $35 were appropriated for fitting up 
the school-house suitably for holding courts therein, and 
the county clerk given in charge of the work. The treas- 
urer was allowed $5 and the clerk $12 to procure suitable 
records for the needs of their respective offices, the entire 
appropriations of the session amounting to $723.44. 

Henry Coffeen presented a bill of $85.88, and Jacob 
Brown one of $100 for services at the session of the legis- 
lature in the division of Oneida county, both of which were 
rejected. The latter had been appointed by a meeting of 
citizens of the county, held at Denmark (in Lewis county), 
to attend the legislature for lobbying purposes. Another 
similar bill at a subsequent session of the board was rejected. 
Dr. Ozias H. Rawson's bill for medical attendance on a poor 
family in the county was rejected. A bounty of $10 on 
wolves' and panthers' scalps was laid in addition to the 
town bounty offered for the destruction of these animals. 
The commissioners of highways of the towns of Ellisburg, 
Brownville, and Harrison (Rodman), petitioned for the 
sum of $250 to be laid on each of their respective towns, 
for road and bridge purposes ; which was done. The record 
of the meeting, which lasted seven days, is closed by the 
following entry: '' Resolved, that the meeting be desolved." 

The assessment and amount of taxes, population, and 
the collectors of 1805-6 were as follows : 


Elli<bnrg, »8(l,109.00 

Watfrtown, 64,986.50 

Adams, 3a,6uC.OO 

Uinw.nville, 447,24(1.00 

Harrison, 43,395.1)0 

Malta, 49,248.00 

Kutlaiid, 44,829.00 

(Jhainpion, 42,578.50 

Town Tax. Co. Tax. Total. Popla'n. Collectors. 






Grant Uoisington. 
John Bli-vin. 
Oliver Willson. 
Noadiah iJurr. 
Peter Yandea. 
0. Butler. 
Benj. Eddy. 
Ben. Saunders. 

8805,992.00 82031.89 8805.98 82840.87 1438 

Of the county tax of $805.98, the collectors' fees 
amounted to $40.30 and the treasurer's to $8.06, leaving 
the net tax $757.62. A balance of $34.18 was unappro- 
priated, but $539.92 of the aggregate taxes of the county 
were rejected by the comptroller on their return to him, 
and $326.88 were delinquent, to be paid in at the Comp- 
troller's office and by him to be returned to the county treas- 
urer, so that the settlement at the end of the year 1806 with 

the treasurer reveals a balance of cash on hand of $3.34 
only, and the orders outstanding amounted to $436.08. The 
prospective assets amounted to $655.49, the realization and 
convertibility of which were more or less indefinite and 

A special meeting of the board was convened June 13, 
180G, at wiiich appeared Jacob Brown, Perley Keyes, Jona- 
than Davis, Augustus Sacket, Bthni Evans, and Jesse 
Hopkins as new members. This meeting appointed Jacob 
Brown and Augustus Sacket a committee with full powers 
to effect a settlement with Oneida and Lewis counties, on a 
division of the funds on hand in the treasury of Oneida 
county when that sovereignty was divided. The committee 
was also empowered to receive the money and pay the bill 
of the jailer of Oneida against Jefferson according to their 
discretion. At the October meeting the same year the 
committee reported $2292.88 on hand at the time of the 
division of the county, which the committees of the several 
counties had divided according to the assessment-roll of 
Oneida county, last previous to the division, by which 
arrangement Jefferson was entitled to $328.61, Lewis 
$293.54, and Oneida $1670.73. The supervisors of 
Oneida directed their treasurer to honor the drafts of the 
treasurers of Jefferson and Lewis for their respective 
allotments, and the supervisors of Jefferson directed the 
treasurer of this county to draw at once for the amount 
due this county. At the annual meeting of the board, the 
towns of Henderson and Hounsficld were represented by 
Jesse Hopkins and Augustus Sacket re.spectively, and the 
assessment rolls of Ellisburg. Henderson, Harrison, and 
Blalta were found incorrect and returned to the assessors 
for correction. The following order was passed : "Ordered, 
that hereafter every justice of the peace who shall give a 
certificate certifying the killing of a wol/e or panther shall, 
on receiving the pale thereof, sufficiently crop the ears of 
the same, and insert the said ears to be so craped in each 
certificate to be so given." The sessions of October 7 and 
8 were held at the school-house, but on the latter date an 
adjournment was had to November 3 to the house of 
Joseph Clark. Le Ray was represented at the adjourned 
meeting by Ethni Evans. The committee to settle with 
the sheriff of Jefferson County and the jailer of Oneida, 
allowed bills to the amount of $467.76, and in their report 
made a showing which argued strongly for the economy of 
a jail of their own. A tax of $1000 was levied for roads 
and bridges, and distributed pro rata over the towns accord- 
ing to the value of their taxable property. Drs. Bealls and 
Green presented bills for medical attendance and supplies 
for Noah Emmons and family, which were rejected ; but 
sundry bills, amounting to $48.04, incurred in the removal 
of the same family from town to town, and finally out of 
the county, were allowed nem. con. 

Messrs. Sacket and Wood, committee on accounts of 
members of the board, reported a pay-roll which was not 
satisfactory to their fellow-members, and their work was 
disallowed, and a new committee, consisting of Messrs. 
Davis, Wood, and Keyes, given charge of the matter, who 
reported an allowance of $281, including $48 for the clerk, 
which was audited by the board. The total assessment of 
the county for 1806 amounted to $931,668.72, and the 


total taxation to $7230.79, the new towns having the fol- 
lowing proportion to bear; Le Ray, value $233,006, taxes, 
|] 209.77; Hounsfield, value, $36,942, taxes, $518.30; 
Henderson, value, $25,992, taxes, $393.57. 

Two-fifths of the taxes were for county purposes, and the 
remainder for town purposes. The county taxes amounted 
to $2908.49, the amount of rejected taxes of 1805, $539.92, 
being included therein. Adding to this amount the amount 
due from Oneida county, and the unappropriated balance 
of 1805, the treasurer figured up an excess of revenue 
over appropriations of 1806 of $730.23 ; but rejections by 
the comptroller disjointed the calculations, and the treasury 
was again in default on payment of the drafts made on it 
on account of the levy of 1806. 

In 1807 the as,sessment ran up to $1,035,693.42, and 
the taxes to $7811.28, the county tax being $5178.47. In 
1806 the charges allowed justices and constables for ser- 
vices in criminal cases amounted to $215.79, and in 1807 
to $241.26. The jailer and sheriff received $135.66 in the 
latter year. A fine of three dollars was levied on Silvenus 
Brown, a Quaker non-combatant, for refusing to do military 
duty, but afterwards the same was annulled, and a tax of 
four dollars substituted therefor. In 1808 the board 
adopted a set of rules for the government of its members. 
To enforce punctuality at the hour of adjournment (mean- 
ing the hour to which the board had previously adjourned) 
a fine of one shilling was levied on delinquents who were 
absent fifteen minutes after roll-call, and one shilling for 
every half-hour's absence after that limitation. One shil- 
ling also was imposed on all absentees without leave, and 
only fifteen minutes' absence was allowed with leave, unless 
by special permission of the president and on special business. 
Members were required to be subject to good order during 
the business of the board, and to "observe profound silence 
when called to order by the president, unless addressing the 
chair," and were to .speak " one at a time," and but once on 
a subject, unless by permission ; or in default of any or 
-either of these requirements to pay one shilling for each 
offense. If any member was found making a copy of his 
assessment-roll at any time during the sessions of the board 
while the business of the board was in actual progress, the 
offender was fined another shilling, unless he could make it 
appear to the president he had no other business to attend 
to. The president's watch regulated the time of the board, 
and the fines assessed were to be appropriated for the ex- 
penses of the board. The Quaker Brown was still a source 
of contention on the board, though a non-resident himself, 
and was taxed four dollars for his principles, and a warrant 
ordered issued to collect the tax. The taxes fell off a little 
this year, notwithstanding the increase in values, the latter 
standing at $1,094,362.49, and the former at $7206.78, 
the county's portion being $4385.42. 

At the October meeting, 1809, begun the third day of 
the month, the board convened at the court-house, but it 
was not suitable for its accommodation, and a committee 
appointed to procure a place for holding the session in, re- 
ported in favor of Judge Clark's; whereupon the clerk 
records the resolution of the board " to pat vp at Jud^e 
Clark's." The board adopted the rules of the former board 
and appointed James Shurtleff " stuerd"— whatever that 

might have been — of the board. " Tom," an Indian, was 
allowed the bounty on a " wolfe-pate" he had procured a 
certificate for. The fight opened on the Canada thistle at 
this session, by the appointment of a committee to draft a 
petition to the Legislature for the passage of a law for the 
destruction of that persistent vegetable. Jonas Smith, 
clerk of the board, was ordered to make maps of the several 
towns of the county for filing in the comptroller's oflice, 
and given one hundred dollars for the job. Another increase 
in values and decrease in taxation occurred this year, the 
assessment being returned at $1,102,785, and the tax levy 
placed at $5499.87, of which $2615.22 were for county 
uses. Jairus Rich presented a certificate for a wolf bounty 
on an animal killed, as alleged, in Brownsville ; but the 
board, for some reason which does not appear on the face 
of the records, rejected the claim. Rich submitted the 
question of his claim to the inhabitants of Brownsville at 
the town-meeting in 1810, who voted to allow it, where- 
upon he brought it before the board of supervisors in Oc- 
tober, 1810, and they rejected the claim again, notwith- 
standing the instruction, and unanimously, too. Both the 
assessment and taxes ran up again this year, the former 
being returned at the sum of $1,138,204, and the tax 
levy being placed at $7391, the county's needs requiring 
$3983.71. In 1811 Antwerp sent her first supervisor to the 
county board — Daniel Heald. Twenty-two Quakers were 
'listed, and taxed four dollars each in lieu of military service ; 
among them Musgrove Evans, who afterwards became a 
noted surveyor of the United States public lands and specu- 
lator therein in Blichigan. The assessment fell off mate- 
rially this year, the same being returned at $971,045, and 
the taxes amounted to $5915.69, the county's proportion 
being $2329.22. Antwerp's first assessment amounted to 
$50,431, and her first tax-bills to $215.45. In 1813 the 
first equalization of assessments of real estate was attempted. 
John Brown, of Brownsville, Lyman Ellis, of BUisburg, 
and Jonathan Smiley, of Rutland, were the committee on 
equalization, and they reported the following schedule: In- 
creased, Antwerp 40 per cent., Hounsfield 25 per cent.. 
Champion 10 per cent., Watertown 70 per cent., Hender- 
son 10 per cent. Decreased, Brownsville 25 per cent., 
Rodman 10 per cent. It docs not appear by the record 
that this schedule was adopted, or any other, as a basis of 
equalization, but that the taxes were cast on the original 
amounts returned by the assessors, to wit, $3,968,417. 
The taxes amounted to $7113.23, of which Brownsville 
paid $1772, Le Ray $1021.91, and Watertown $597.05. 
In 1814 Wilna was first represented on the board, Thomas 
Brayton being her member. The assessment this year was 
$4,223,871, and the taxes $878,298, of which amount 
Wilna's proportion was figured at $174,190 in valuation, 
and $239.49 in taxes. In 1814 the first school-tax was 
levied under the act for the distribution of the State fund, 
in 1813, the distribution being $789.32. The first State 
tax was levied in 1815, and amounted to $8651.78, the 
total taxes amounting to $22,036.93, the school-tax being 
$1251.27, and other town taxes $7761.55. In 1816 the 
first equalization of real estate assessments between the 
towns was effected, the same being as follows : 10 per cent, 
was added to those of Watertown and Adams and the fol- 



lowing deductions made : Brownsville, Rodman, Champion, 
and Antwerp, 15 per cent., Henderson 10 per cent., Ellis- 
burg, Lorraine, Le Ray, and Wilna, 5 per cent., and Rut- 
land 2} per cent. In 1817 the personal property asssess- 
ment of the county was returned at $105,040, against 
$3,483,789 on real estate. In 1818 Lyme first had a 
voice in the councils of the county, and paid for the privi- 
lege in taxes $1191.66 on an assessment of $186,721 on 
real estate, and $970 on personal property. Her first super- 
visor was Richard M. Esselstyne. In 1820 the first and 
only bounty paid for the killing of a panther in Jefferson 
County was drawn. Pamelia came into the local legislature 
this year, 1820, the assessment of the town being $66,164 
on real estate, and $100 on personal property, and on this 
valuation she paid taxes to the amount of $1122.12. 

At the annual meeting in 1821 the board voted to pay 
no more wolf bounties after that session ; but they did 
" for all that,'' as appears by the records. In 1822, Mr. 
Esselstyne died, while the board was in session, of yellow 
fever at Utica. At the annual meeting three new towns 
were represented, — Alexandria, by James ShurtlefF; Or- 
leans, by Amos Reed ; and Philadelphia, by Alden Buck- 
lin. Coroner Scott " sat" on the body of John F. Wages, 
and desired the board to allow a bill of expenses for the 
" crowncr's quest ;" but the board deemed the action of 
the coroner " extra-judicial" and needless, the said body 
having been drowned in full view of several persons. The 
total assessment of the county for 1822 was returned at 
$2,484,118, and the total taxes amounted to $22,629.03. 
Of these amounts, the new towns bore the following por- 
tions : 

Alexandria, value real estate, $142,645 ; personal prop- 
erty, $405; taxes, $1430.50. Orleans, value real estate, 
$131,397: personal property, $8805; taxes, $1359.71. 
Philadelphia, value real estate, $49,346 ; personal property, 
$600 ; taxes, $393.04. 

In 1823 thirty dollars were appi-oprlated to assist an 
aged pauper to Philadelphia, " or any other place where he 
would be the most unlikely to return." In 1830 grand 
and petit jurors were first paid for their services as such. 
In 1833 Clayton appeared on the board in the person of 
her first supervisor, Hubbell Pox. The total assessment 
of the county amounted to $3,074,753, and the tax levy 
fi'>-ured up $27,346.52. Clayton returned its first assess- 
ment at $82,136, and was laid under a contribution for her 
own needs and those of the general welfare, placed at 
$1465.79. In 1841 Theresa sent her first supervisor to 
the county-seat, at the annual meeting, the same being 
Alexander Salisbury. The assessment of the town was 
returned as follows: Acres assessed, 40,911; value real 
estate, $184,500; value personal property, $300; total, 
$184,800. On this valuation taxes were levied to the 
amount of $1049.73, In 1848 Worth was set off as a 
new town, and sent up Albert S. Gillett as its first super- 
visor. Its first assessment was returned as follows : Acres, 
26,743; value real estate, $29,994; personal property, 
$1000; value per acre as assessed, $1.12; taxes levied, 
$377.75. In 1849 Cape Vincent came into the board, by 
Frederick Folger, her first supervisor, with an assessment 
of 33,978 acres, and a real-estate valuation of $208,285, 

and $2000 on personal property, and paid taxes on the 
same to the amount of $2698.26. The assessed value per 
acre of the lands of the town averaged $6.13. 

In 1875 the legislature conferred upon the boards of 
supervisors of the several counties in the State, save such 
whose limits were oo-extensive only with a city in its 
boundaries, increased legislative powers. Under this in- 
crease of power the board of supervisors of Jeiferson 
County have enacted laws for the preservation of brook- 
trout and other fish in Jefferson County waters, and also 
establishing the salaries of the then (1876) incoming 
county judge and surrogate at twelve hundred and fifty 
dollars per annum, the same having been previously fixed 
at twenty-five hundred dollars per annum by the State 

The bounties offered by the board of supervisors for the 
destruction of wolves and panthers, from 1805 to 1814, 
inclusive, were ten dollars per head, besides the town boun- 
ties, which latter varied, and caused so much difiiculty, and 
proved such a temptation for fraudulent practices, that in 
1808 the board recommended the towns to confine their 
bounties to the uniform sum of five dollars. 

From 1815"to 1818, inclusive, the county offered a bounty 
of twenty dollars, the State paying as much more a portion 
of the time. In 1819 the bounty was reduced to ten 
dollars on wolves, and in 1820 to the same amount for 
wolves and panthers, and half that sum for the whelps of 
those animals. In 1821 there was no bounty at all offered, 
but it was restored in 1822, and remained at ten dollars for 
several years, but seldom more than half a dozen scalps were 
taken in a year. During the continuance of the bounty 
there were paid, in the earlier years of the settlement of the 
county, the following sums on wolf-scalps by the county 
treasurer: 1806, $460; 1807, $390; 1808, $470; 1810, 
$770; 1811, $500; 1816, $320; 1818, $460; 1819, 
$400 ; 1820, $780 on wolves and $20 on panthers ; 1821, 
$290 for past scalps; 1822, $50. 

The chairmen of the board of supervisors have been as 
follows: From 1805 to 1807, Noadiah Hubbard; 1808, 
Ethel Bronson; 1809-10, Jesse Hopkins ; 1811-12, Judah 
Williams; 1813, Jesse Hopkins; 1814, Noadiah Hubbard; 
1815-16, Egbert Ten Eyck ; 1817-24, General Clark 
Allen. Up to 1818 the ofiicer was designated as president, 
but in this last-named year the name was changed to chair- 
man. 1825, Nathan Strong; 1826, Noadiah Hubbard; 
1827-28, Walter Cole; 1829-30, Nathan Strong; 1831, 
Willard Ainsworth ; 1832-33, Henry H. CofFeen ; 1834- 
36, Jonathan Bigelow ; 1837, Orville Hungerford ; 1838- 
39, Daniel Half; 1840, Eli West; 1841, Daniel Hall; 
1842, Orville Hungerford; 1843, Joseph Graves; 1844, 
John Boyden; 1845, Azel W. Dan forth ; 1846, Alanson 
Skinner; 1847, 0. V. Brainard ; 1848, Bernard Bagley ; 
1849, Alden Adams; 1850, Henry Greene, Jr.; 1851, 
Hiram Dewey; 1852, Alfred Fox; 1853-54, 0. P. Star- 
key ; 1855-56, Jason Clark; 1857, Luke E. Frame; 1858, 
Luther Sampson; 1859, A. W. Clark; 1860, John H. 
Conklin; 1861, C. A. Benjamin; 1802, Nathan Strong; 
1863, C. W. Burdick; 1864, J. H. Conklin; 1865, Geo. 
W. Hazelton; 1866, Dr. Charles W. Burdick; 1867, Chas. 
A. Benjamin ; 1868, Geo. A. Bagley ; 1869, R. B. Biddle- 



com; 1870-71, Theodore Canfield ; 1872, Royal Fuller; 
1873, Tbos. C. Chittenden; 1874, 0. D. Green; 1875, 
Fred. Waddingham ; 1876, John C. Knowlton. 

The clerks of the board (elected by the board) have been 
as follows: Zelotes Harvey, 1805-6; Jonas Smith, 1807- 
15 ; Marinus W. Gilbert, 1816-23 ; Adriel Ely, 1824-26 ; 
Zenas H. Adams, 1827-31 ; M. W. Gilbert, 1832-37 ; J. 
F. Bates, 1838; Ahmson P. Sigourney, 1839; Myron 
Beebee, 1840; M. P. Jackson, 1841; A. M. Watson, 
1843; A. P. Sigourney, 1844-47: A. Wilson, 1848-49; 
A. B. Gilbert, 1850; A. Wilson, 1851; J. R. Bates, 
1852-53; M. Beebee, 1854; Abner Smith, 1855-56; E. 
J. Clark, 1857 ; John A. Haddock, 1858-59 ; Levi Smith, 
1860; Wm. S. Phelps, 1861-62; Jacob Stears, Jr., 
1863-71 ; W. D. V. Rulison, 1872-77. 

The board for the year 1877 has not, at this writing, 
met and organized, and will not do so until the annual 
meeting in November, but its constituent members are as 
follows : 

Adams, 0. D. Greene; Alexandria, A. A. Holmes; Ant- 
werp, Geo. D. McAllister; Brownville, H. H. Bininger; 
Cape Vincent, L. 0. Woodruff; Champion, James Ster- 
ling; Clayton, B. M. Esselstyn ; Ellisburg, J. P. Wodell; 
Henderson, John Chapman; Hounsfield, S. M. Hodges; 
Le Bay, F. E. Croissant ; Lorraine, C. C. Moore ; Lyme, 
A. A. Getman ; Orleans, B. Everett ; Pamelia, G. H 
Countryman; Philadelphia, George E. Tucker; Redman, 
George A. Gates ; Rutland, George Smith ; Theresa, John 
Parker; Watertown, C. Eichardson ; City of Watertown, 
first ward, J. C. Streeter ; second ward, J. C. Knowlton . 
third ward, T. C. Chittenden ; fourth ward, C. W. Sloat ; 
Wilna, James Galvin ; Worth, S. B. Kellogg. 


According to the provisions of the act establishing the 
county, the governor and council of appointment appointed 
the commissioners to select and designate the site of the 
court-house and jail of the county, the same being Matthew 
Dorr, David Rodgers, and John Van Bentheusen. " The 
question of location was not settled without the most active 
efforts being made by Brownville to secure the site ; but 
the balance of settlement was then south of Black river, 
and the level lands in the north part of the county were 
represented to the commissioners as swampy and incapable 
of settlement. Jacob Brown, finding it impossible to secure 
this advantage to his place, next endeavored to retain it, at 
least, north of Black river, and offered an eligible site in the 
present town of Pamelia ; but in this he also failed. The 
influence of Henry Coffeen is said to have been especially 
strong with the commissioners, although he was ably 
seconded by others of much ability. It is said that the 
site was marked at some distance below the business part 
of the village of Watertown to conciliate those who had 
been disappointed in its location. A deed of the premises 
was presented by Henry and Amos Coffeen." * At the 
October meeting, 1806, of the board of supervisors, Messrs. 
Hinds, Salisbury, and J. Brown were appointed as a com- 
mittee to report the expediency of building a jail, the prob- 

'^' Hough. 

able cost of the same, and the most advisable method to be 
pursued in such a proceeding for the interest of the county. 
The expense of sending prisoners to Whitestown was heavy, 
and it was apprehended that public officers would reluc- 
tantly spend their time in going to and from thence. The 
committee reported that two-thirds of all county charges 
were paid by non-resident taxes, and a prospect then ex- 
isted that this law would be repealed. They therefore 
advised the immediate erection of a jail, and it was esti- 
mated it could be built for $4500 ; that $2500 would pro- 
vide one better for the interests of the county than the 
existinn- system. J. Brown and A. Saeket were appointed 
to draft a petition to the legislature, which procured, on 
February 20, a law authorizing a tax of 12500 for erecting 
a court-house and jail, and February 19, 1808, a further 
tax of $2500 was applied for. William Smith, Gershom 
Tuttle, and N. Hubbard were appointed to build a jail after 
a plan to be approved by the board. It was to be 40 by 
60 feet, built of wood, and fronting eastward, and was built 
in 1807-8 by Wm. Rice and Joel Mix, after the plans of 
Wm. Smith. It contained a jail in the first story, and 
stood a little south of the present jail. On January 30, 
1808, the superintendents were empowered "to build a suf- 
ficient tower and cupola on the centre of said building, and 
cover the dome of said cupola with tin, and so construct the 
said tower and cupola that it shall be sufficiently strong and 
convenient so as to hang a bell, and to erect a sphere and 
vane, and also a suitable rod to conduct the lightning from 
said building." On October 5, 1808, the accounts of the 
court-house audited, including extra work and services of 
committee, amounted to $4997.58. The contractors, Mix 
and Rice, sued the county for " extras," but afterwards 
compromised, and paid the costs. Wm. Smith was directed 
to purchase the necessary fixtures for the court-house and 
jail, at an estimated cost of $262.87. 

In 1807 (August 13) the jail libertiesf were first estab- 
lished, and deserve mention from the singular manner in 
which they were laid out. They covered a small space 
around the court-house and a part of the public square, and 
included most of the houses in the village, while between 
these localities, along the sides of the roads, and sometimes": 
in the centre, were pa^/is from four to eight feet wide, witha 
occasional crossings, so that by carefully observing this ,. 
route, turning right angles, and keeping himself in the - 
strict ranges which the court had established, a man might 
visit nearly every building in the village ; but if the route 
was by any accident obstructed by a pile of lumber, a pool 
of mud, or a loaded wagon, he must pass over, or through, 
or under, or else expose himself to the peril of losing this 
precarious freedom, by close imprisonment, and subjecting 
his bail to prosecution for the violation of his trust. In 
several instances persons were thus dealt with, where they i 
had inadvertently turned aside from the straight and narrow 
path, to which the statutes of that period allowed the cred- 
itor to consign his unfortunate debtor. A map of these 
limits, prepared by Jonas Smith, who for several years had 
made these details a subject of daily observation from ne- 

f Privileges ao2crded prisoners for debt, who gave bail for the 
observance of the bounds of the " liberties." 


©©inr li@i§I>, WATEMf 





cossity, was prepared in July, 1811, and deposited in tlie 
clerk's office. It is interesting from its containing the 
names of those who then owned houses in the village, of 
whom there were about fifty. These limits were maintained 
till February 23, 1821, when an act was passed defining a 
rectangular area around the village as the jail limits. On Oc- 
tober 9, 1815, the supervisors voted a petition for a tax of 
$1000 to build a fire-proof clerk's oflice,and April 5, 1816, 
an act was passed accordingly, allowing a tax, not exceeding 
$1500, for this purpose, and Ebenezer Wood, Ethel Bron- 
son, and Egbert Ten Eyck were named as commissioners to 
build the same. 

A clerk's ofiice was accordingly built between the present 
Episcopal church and the public square, and was occupied 
until 1831, when, in accordance with an act passed January 
26 of that year, granted on a petition of the board in 1830, 
a new clerk's office was built by Daniel Wardwell, Eli 
West, and Stephen D. Sloan, commissioners appointed by 
the act for the purpose, who were empowered to borrow one 
thousand dollars on the credit of the county, and sell the 
former office and lot. The new office was situated on the 
north side of Court street, corner of Jackson street, and 
was occupied until the completion of the present court- 
house, in 1862. In December, 1817, the court-house was 
injured by fire, which occasioned a meeting of the board, 
and five hundred dollars were voted for repairs. In 1820, 
Wm. Smith was given the contract to re-cover the roof of 
the clerk's office with tin, he agreeing to furnish an " iin- 
proved workman in tinning roofs" for the purpose. In 
this year the sheriff was instructed to cause the prisoners to 
cleanse the cells and jail generally, and, as an inducement 
to them to perform the task, he was authorized to " dis- 
tribute, among them weekly one pound of tobacco to every 
six prisoners." 

On February 9, 1821, the court-house and jail were 
burned, and on the 12th the supervisors met to take into 
consideration the measures necessary for the occasion. A 
petition was forwarded for a law authorizing a tax of $8000 
to rebuild the county buildings, and a loan of §6000 for the 
same purpose. It was resolved to build the jail separate 
from the court-house, and both buildings were to be of stone. 
Elisha Camp, Nathan Strong, and John Brown were ap- 
pointed commissioners to superintend the building. Pre- 
miums of $10 for a plan of a court-house and $15 for one 
of a jail were offered. An act was accordingly passed 
March 13, 1821, for the separate erection of these build- 
ings, at a cost not exceeding $8000, under the direction of 
Eliphalet Edmonds, Henry H. Coffeen, and Jabez Foster. 
' The courts meanwhile were to be held at the brick academy, 
and criminals were to be sent to the Lewis county jail. A 
loan not exceeding $6000 was authorized from the State. 
On March 28 the board met, and the plan for a jail offered 
by Wm. Smith was adopted, and a resolution was passed 
providing for solitary cells. The court-house was agreed to 
be forty-four by forty -eight feet, after a plan by J. H. 
Bishop. This necessity of an outlay for new buildings re- 
vived the question of a new site, and, among others, the 
citizens of Sacket's Harbor made diligent efforts by petition 
to secure their location, but without success ; and in the 
same season. a court-house and a part of the jail were 

erected, which continued to be occupied until Novem- 
ber, 1848, when the Hon. Jas. M. Comstock, one of the 
inspectors of county and State prisons, reported to the Hon. 
Robert Lansing, judge of the county, the entire failure of 
the county jail to meet the requirements of the statute in 
relation to the safety, health, and proper classification of 
prisoners, and expressed his belief that the arrangements 
required by law could not be attained without the con- 
struction of a new prison building. Tliis report, approved 
by the judge, and certified by the clerk of the board, was 
laid before the supervisors, a committee appointed, who 
visited the jail and confirmed the report, but after repeated 
efforts the board failed to agree upon a resolution providing 
for the necessary rebuilding of the county prison. This led 
to the issue of a writ of mandamus by the supreme court in 
December, on the motion of G. C. Sherman, requiring the 
board of supervisors to proceed without delay to the erection 
of a new jail, or the repair of the one then existing. This 
necessity for a new prison suggested the project of the 
division of the county into two jury districts, and th'e erec- 
tion of two sets of buildings at other places than AVater- 
town, and the question became, for a short time, one of 
considerable discussion in various sections of the county. 
The question was settled by the erection of an extensive 
addition to the jail, two stories high, and considered ade- 
quate for the wants of the county for some time (then) to 
come, at least, if the course adopted was that recommended 
by the board of supervisors October 20, 1820, as set forth 
in the following resolution : 

"Whereas, The maintenance of prisoners committed to the county 
jail for small offenses, in the manner that they have been usually 
sentenced, has been attended with great expense to the people of this 
county, and in many instances has operated to punish the county with 
taxes more than the criminals for offenses; and whereas some courts- 
of special sessions have sentenced them to imprisonment upon bread 
and water, which lessens the expense to this county, and the same 
operates as a punishment more effectually than longer terms of im- 
prisonment would in the ordinary way; the board of supervisors, 
therefore, recommend generally to magistrates and courts of sessions 
In mittimuses, upon conviction of petty crimes, to make the length of 
confinement less, and direct the jailer to keep the offenders upon 
bread and water during the time of their imprisonment. The board 
would recommend, in such cases, that the prisoners be not sentenced 
to be kept longer than thirty days in any case; it may endanger the 
health of the convicts. 

" Reaolced) That the jailer for the future be directed not to procure 
anything more expensive for criminals than moccasins at fifty cents 
a pair, instead of shoes, nor to procure any hats, and to purchase as 
little clothing as possible, and that of the poorest and least expensive 

The court-house became so much dilapidated that it 
became unfit to hold courts in, and in 1851, Judge Thomp- 
son hired rooms at $100 per annum for rental and fuel, and 
sent his bills to the board of supervisors for auditing. 

In 1857, a resolution looking to the erection of a new 
court-house was passed at the annual session of the board 
of supervisors, Messrs. S. H. Brown, Wm. Estes, and S. 
Eddy being appointed a preliminary committee on the matter. 
A motion at the annual meeting in 1858, to proceed at 
once to the erection of the court-house, was tabled, and then 
taken up again, and amended by changing the place of loca- 
tion, so as to leave it to the discretion of future boards to 
locate the same at Watertown or elsewhere in the county. 


and the amended resolution was adopted. Messrs. Ingalls, 
Phelps, and Rulison were appointed a committee to receive 
plans and specifications, and then the whole matter was laid 
on the table, and a committee appointed to invest |30 in 
an examination of the old building relative to the possibility 
of repairing it. The grand jury, in April and September, 
1858, indicted the court-house as a nuisance, and as unfit 
and insufiicient to hold courts in. In 1859, a motion to 
rent Washington Hall, in Watertown, for holding the courts 
until the court-house could be repaired, at a rent of 1250 
per annum, was lost, fifteen members voting in the negative ; 
whereupon, on motion of Supervisor Ingalls, the majority 
voting against the proposition were appointed a committee 
to report a plan for repairing or rebuilding the court-house. 
This committee reported a resolution to appoint a committee 
to repair the court-house and rent Washington Hall, and 
receive plans and proposals to build a new court-house on 
the old site. On December 10, 1860, the committee as- 
sembled and received plans and specifications, and appointed 
a sub-committee to visit the several court-houses in the 
State, or as many as they deemed necessary, and examine 
the same, and confer with W. N. White, an architect at 
Syracuse. The sub-committee procured plans and drafts 
from Mr. White, and reported at a special meeting of the 
board, January 7, 1861, recommending the adoption of 
White's plans, which placed the cost of the new building, 
erected in accordance therewith, at the sum of 125,000. 
The report of the committee was adopted by the board, and 
after a brisk and animated struggle the present site, corner 
of Arsenal and Benedict streets, in Watertown, was selected, 
the same being donated by the citizens of the city. A loan 
of 125,000 was authorized and made from the State at 
seven per cent., and a contract made with John Hose and 
Joseph Davis to erect the building for $24,000, and W. N. 
White appointed supervising architect, and the following- 
named supervisors a building committee : Joseph Atwell, 
A. W. Clark, A. C. Middleton, C. A. Benjamin, John H. 
Conklin, Henry Spicer, and Jacob Putnam. At the annual 
meeting of the board in October, 1861, this committee was 
discharged as being too expensive on account of size, and a 
new committee appointed, consisting of J. H. Conklin, J). 
W. Baldwin, and Octave Blanc. The building was com- 
pleted in 1862, at a cost of 125,488.89, furnished, after 
some delays and wrangling with the contractors, who peti- 
tioned the board for an additional allowance, for an alleged 
deficit in compensation occasioned by the extraordinary rise 
in building materials occasioned by the war. The roof over 
certain portions of the building was imperfect, and consid- 
erable sums of money were expended to repair and complete 
it. The basement was ill drained, and until the sewerage 
of the city was completed along Arsenal street it was in a 
foul and unhealthy condition ; but drains connecting with 
the main sewer soon obviated that difiiouty, though at 
considerable expense. The entire expense of the court- 
house as it now stands is not far from $35,000. It is 
built of brick, with stone trimmings and portico, and has 
an area of about 70 feet front on Arsenal street by 120 feet 
rear on Benedict street. It has two stories, and is provided 
with a fire-proof clerk's office in tiie rear of the building, 
and is surmounted with a tower in good proportionate di- 

mensions to the balance of the edifice, and, with a well-kept 
lawn (one of the features of Watertown), is an ornament 
to the city and a credit to the county. The county jail 
stands on a commanding bluff overlooking the city and sur- 
roundin'' country, and furnishes accommodations for the 
needs of the county at the present time, inasmuch as all 
petty crimes and misdemeanors are punishable by commit- 
ment to the Onondaga county penitentiary, which relieves 
the county jail somewhat of what would be an otherwise 
excessive demand for room. 


The first compulsory charity within the limits of the 
present Empire State was that which the act of the colonial 
assembly of April, 1691, provided for, whereby the towns 
of the colony were required to support their own poor, and 
whereby, also, safeguards were thrown around the system, 
to prevent imposition upon the authorities. The assembly 
of 1683 may have also provided for sueh support, and so, 
also, may have the Dutch burghers before that, but the first 
laws we find recorded on the subject are those reported in 
Bradford's edition of the Colonial Laws from 1691 to 1773, 
published in London, which gives the first act as passed in 
April of the former year. 

The legislature in 1778 provided for the support of the 
poor by towns and cities, and later on, for the building of 
poor-houses by towns and counties. Previous to the adop- 
tion of the poor-house system by Jefferson County each 
town in the county supported its own poor, and the records 
of the board of supervisors show annual appropriations in 
many of the towns for that purpose of from $50 to $800. 

In 1817, $50 was voted to build a town poor-house in 
Le Ray, and in 1822, under the act of 1820, the super- 
visors recommended to the several towns to take into 
consideration at their next annual meetings the propriety 
of building a, poor-house and house of industry for the 
county, as advised by an act of March 3, 1820. In April, 
1825, a meeting of the board was called, and a committee, 
consisting of Messrs. Hubbard, Hart, and Stewart, was ap- 
pointed to ascertain the most suitable site for erecting a 
poor-house, and the price for which a farm could be pur- 
chased, within five miles of the court-house. The cost of 
buildings was limited to $2000. They were directed to 
advertise for proposals for purchasing a farm, if they should 
think proper. On June 7 an adjourned meeting of the 
supervisors met to hear the above report. After visiting 
the premises in a body, it was resolved to purchase the 
Dudley farm, in Le Ray, five miles from Watertown, con- 
taining 150 acres, at $10 per acre. Committees were ap- 
pointed to procure titles, which came through Vincent Le 
Ray de Chaumont, and fit up the premises. The building 
was erected by Simeon Towle, and completed and accepted 
by the board November 17, 1825, the same costing $1400. 
These premises continued to be occupied for the purpose of 
a poor-house until November, 1832, when the supervisors 
voted a petition for the power to sell the property, and 
borrow $4000 on the credit of the county for building a 
new one on a new site, if the interests of the county re- 
quired it. An act was passed by the legislature January 
25, 1833, granting the power asked for, and providing for 



the execution of the trust by three commissioners to be ap- 
pointed by the supervisors. At their following session the 
board, after much discussion, finally agreed to erect a new 
poor-house on a farm of 100 acres, purchased of J. Foster 
for $1500, about a mile below Watertown, north of the 
river, and Orville Hungerford, Joseph Graves, and Bernard 
Bagley were appointed to carry the resolution into effect. 
This poor-house and farm cost $6123.66, a,nd the old 
property was sold for $2015.24. 

The distinction between town and county poor was abol- 
ished by a vote of the supervisors in November, 1834, and 
this has been since several times changed. In 1832 the 
experiment of picking oakum was tried, with a profit of 
$154 the first year. The culture of the mulberry has also 
been attempted, but with small success. The first super- 
intendents of the poor-house, appointed in 1820, were 
Orville Hungerford, Wm. S. Ely, Peter Yandes, John- 
Hoover, and Asher Wilmot, who were elected in 1826 and 
1827, and an equal number were annually appointed until 
the adoption of the present constitution. The persons 
elected under the general law were David Blontague, Chas. 
F. Symonds, and Phineas Hardy, in 1848 ; Martin J. 
Hutchins, 1849 ; Peter S. Houck, 1850 ; Austin Everitt, 
1851. It being thought by certain ones that the general 
law was not the best that could be devised for the county, 
an effort was made in 1852, which procured on the 12th 
of April an act which directed but one overseer of the poor 
to be hereafter elected in each town in this county, and 
the duties of overseers of the poor were conferred upon the 
supervisor and such overseer, in the several towns, who 
were to be associated together in affording relief to the 
indigent within certain limits, to be prescribed by the board 
of supervisors for each town. No superintendents of the 
poor were to be thereafter elected, but one was to be ap- 
pointed by the board of supervisors, to hold his office during 
their pleasure. He is to reside at the poor-house, and be 
the keeper thereof. In case of vacancy, the county judge, 
clerk, and treasurer, or any two of them, fill the vacancy 
by temporary appointment until another is chosen.. In the 
fall of 1854, and annually afterwards, two visitors are ap- 
pointed by the board of supervisors, to visit the poor-house 
every two months, and examine its books and management. 
Contracts for medicines and medical attendance are made by 
the supervisors, individually, in the several towns, and as a 
board for the poor-house. They have also the power of di- 
recting the manner in which supplies for the poorhouse shall 
be purchased, which directions the superintendent is obliged 
to follow. The provisions of this act apply to no other 
county than this. The board of supervisors, in accordance 
with powers thus conferred, appointed Alpheus Parker super- 
intendent, who entered upon his duties January 1, 1853.* 

In 1846 the barn on the farm was burned, and rebuilt 
in 1847. In 1839-40 cells were built in the poor-house 
for the confinement of lunatics, and in 1855 the lunatic 
asylum was built of brick, and at a cost of $4811.57, 
Messrs. Adriel Ely, Jason Clark, and A. S. Babcock hav- 
ing supervision of the work. In 1870 the poor-house was 
remodeled and rebuilt at an expense of $13,750, under the 

* Hough. 

supervision of Messrs. R. Fuller, Thomas C. Chittenden, 
and Herman Strong. The institution as it at present 
stands and is conducted is claimed to be second to no 
similar institution in the State. 

Mr. Parker served as superintendent from 1853 to 1858, 
and was succeeded in the latter year by Nathaniel Havens, 
Jr., who held the position until 1860, when he was suc- 
ceeded by Colonel Herman Strong, who continued to receive 
the appointment annually until his death, which occurred 
in April, 1876. From the commendatory reports of the 
inspectors and committees appointed to visit the poor-house 
and report thereon, we gather that Colonel Strong was 
peculiarly fitted for the delicate and arduous task o\ caring 
for the unfortunate class committed to his charge, in which 
he was ably seconded by his estimable wife and daughter. 
Colonel Strong was succeeded by A. W. Wheelock, who 
continues the same general system of management inaugu- 
rated by his immediate predecessor, with gratifying and 
commendable results. 

Beside the care given to the poor in the county institu- 
tion, a greater amount of relief is afforded in the towns 
outside, in the support, or partial relief, of the town poor, 
tlie distinction between county and town charges being now 
maintained. The following statement exhibits the amounts 
paid for the support and relief of the poor since the year 
1860 to 1876, both years inclusive, in and out of the poor- 
house : 

In Outside 

Poor-House. Poor-Hoiisc. Total. 

ISfiO $5,764 $14,26i $20,028 

1861 7,960 16,957 24,917 

1862 7,623 18,556 26,179 

1863 8,106 27,184 35,290 

1864 9,248 46,731 66,979 

1865 11,609 68,006 69,615 

1866 13,632 42,049 65,681 

1867 13,857 34,633 48,490 

1868 14,175 38,133 52,308 

1869 14,421 36,440 50,861 

1870 13,702 36,4(18 60,110 

1871 12,335 40,400 62,735 

1872 12,989 36,367 49,356 

1873 12,538 29,380 41,918 

1874 10,773 16,931 26,704 

1876 12,892 23,141 36,033 

1876* 12,127 19,093 31,220 

$193,751 $63.3,673 $727,424 

In 1876 there were 986 persons relieved in the towns, at 
a cost of $21,315.21, as follows : 

No. of Peraons. Cost of Relief. 

Adams 37 $1,602.74 

Ale.xaiidria 64 1,186.15 

Antwerp 17 608.72 

Brownville 74 1,528.61 

Cape Vinoeut 116 1,026.68 

Champion 28 862.70 

Clayton 77 1,397.85 

Ellisburg 43 744.46 

Henderson 6 263.26 

Hounsfield 24 564.37 

Le Ray 17 662.86 

Lorraine 23 661.74 

Lyme 47 765.21 

Orleans 41 1,013.68 

Pamclia None. 

Philadelphia 19 676.83 

Rodman 1 39.20 

Rutland 9 88.60 

ThercFa 74 423.00 

City of Wiitertown 110 4,111.68 

Wilna 132 2,686.81 

Worth 27 811.36 

986 $21,315.21 

■''■' Appropriations in tax levy for 1876. 



The report of the superinteadent of the poor-house for 
the year ending November 1, 1876, makes the following 
exhibit : The sum expended for the year for the support of 
the institution was $11,764.87, for which 3247 weeks of 
board were furnished in the lunatic asylum, and 4323 weeks 
in the poor-house, averaging $1.55^^ per week. On No- 
vember 1, 1875, there were 60 persons in the asylum, 15 
males and 45 females. There were received during the 
year 11 males and 9 females, and 6 males and 8 females 
were discharged, 4 males and 2 females died, and 1 male 
and 3 females escaped, 56 persons remaining in the asylum 
on November, 1876. In the poor-hcme on November 1, 

1875, there were 48 males and 49 females ; 53 males and 
27 females were received, and one of each sex was born ; 
total, 179. Discharged during the year, 46 males, 42 fe- 
males — 88 ; died, males 3, females 2 — 5 ; sent to Orphans' 
Home, 1 ; bound out, 1 ; total 95. Inmates November 1, 

1876, 52 males, 32 females, making 140 in both depart- 

Advantage is sometimes taken of the generous provision 
made for the temporary relief of the worthy poor, and 
therefore a system was adopted by which the orders granted 
by the overseers of the poor express upon their face the 
kind and quality of goods the county or town authorities 
will pay for. This was necessary, as will be seen by. a reso- 
lution introduced at the annual meeting of the board of 
supervisors in 1868, by Mr. Dimick, and adopted, explain- 
ing the fact of the reduction of bills for pauper relief, 
though contracted on regular orders. The resolution cited 
the following specimen bills pre.sented to the committee for 
audit: One was itemizsd thtis : "1 coat. 111; 1 pair 
shoes, 13.13 ; 1 pair gloves, 56 ; 1 box collars, 25 ; 2 linen 
bosoms, SI. 08 ; total, 116.02." Another bill of six months 
ran thus: "Whisky, opium, and camphor, 121.29; crack- 
ers, herring, and loaf-sugar, $5.50 ; total, $26.79." 

There was no meat, meal, or flour in the account. The 
resolution then proceeded : " Therefore resolved, that in 
future, although articles may have been ordered by the 
proper authority, yet some discrimination and judgment is 
required of those who furnish goods for the county poor ; 
and however large the ratio of whisky may be to crackers 
in our own private grocery bills, we cannot allow so large a 
proportion of rum and opium in any poor-bill against the 
county without some good reason for the same accompany- 
ing the bill. And although an officer might very properly 
issue an order of $10 on a shoe-store for the benefit of a 
large and destitute family, yet should the owner of that 
family take it into his head to cover his lieels with a pair 
of $10 boots, and the merchant on that order should fur- 
nish a pair actually worth the amount, nevertheless it is the 
opinion of this board that collecting such accounts against 
the county would be the pur.suit of money under diffi- 

The superintendents of the poor-house have been as 
follows: Orville Hungerford, 1825 to 1834 ; Wm. I. Ely, 
1825 to 1832 ; Peter Yandes, 1825 to 1829 ; John Hoover,' 
1825 to 1829 ; Asher Wilmot, 1825 to 1829 ; Dyer Hunt- 
ington, 1830-31; Jotham Bigelow, 1830-31 ; John Stu- 
art, 1830-32 ; Eben'r Wood, 1831 ; Ambrose Blunt, 1832 
-37; Silas Marvin, 1832; Norris M.Woodruff, 1833-37; 

Stephen D. Sloan, 1833-37; Jonathan Howland, 1833-37 ; 
Ralph Rodgers, 1835-37 ; Eli Farwell, 1838 ; Daniel Lee, 
1838; Wm. MeCullock, 1838; Stephen Johnson, 1838 ; 
John W. Breed, 1838 ; Samuel Call, 1839 ; Jason Clark, 
1839 ; Hiram Converse, 1839 ; Arba Strong, 1839 and 
1842-4 1; Joseph Kimball, 1840-41 ; Asher N. Corss,1840 
-41 ; John Thurman, 1840-11 ; Wm. McNiel, 1840-41 ; 
Willard Shurtliff, 1840-43; Edw. S. Salisbury,1842-43 ; 
David D. Otis, 1842-44; Peter S. Howk, 1842-44; Joel 
Hayworth, 1844-45 ; Eben'r Brown, 1841 ; Jabez Hunting, 
1845-47; Stephen Bowen, 184.5 and 1847; Wm. Wood, 
1846 ; George W. Cornwell, 1846 ; Chas. Sexton, Jr., 
1847; CharlesF. Symonds, 1848; Phineas Harvey, 1848; 
David Montague, 1848 ; Peter S. Howk, 1849-51 ; Hutch- 
ins, 1849-51; Alpheus Parker, 1852-58; Nathaniel 
Havens, 1858-59; Herman Strong, 1860-76; A. W, 
Wheelock, 1876, and present incumbent. 

Another evidence of the humanity that finds lodgment 
in the breasts of the people of Jefferson County is the 


located in the city of Watertown, of which an estimable 
lady, the wife of one of the worthiest of Watertown's 
citizens, thus writes : 

" The Watertown Asylum for orphan and destitute chil- 
dren was opened March 1, 1859, and without a day's prep- 
aration, that a home might be made for the reception of two 
orphans, whose mother had been accidentally killed the 
night previous. 3Iis3 Frazier, from the highlands of Scot- 
land, a woman of devoted piety, manifested in gathering 
the' little waifs of our community into a Sunday-school, 
and most persistently oaring for them, had been asked if 
an exigency like to this should occur, would she at once 
take charge of a ' Home' as matron ? Without hesita- 
tion she assented. A small tenement^house in the suburbs 
of the town was rented, needful furniture from several 
homes sent in, wood supplied, a fire kindled, which has 
burned brightly now these eighteen years, and the ' Water- 
town Home' was fairly begun. Many years before this a 
charter for a similar institution had been granted by the 
legislature, but the business men of the town advised post- 
ponement of proceedings under the same from year to year, 
as 'this year was financially hard ;' that many whose hearts 
were in sympathy with the project could not iiow co-op- 
erate in it, but that ' the next year would be more favor- 
able ;' so expired the charter. An impromptu effort sug- 
gested itself, was tried, and succeeded. From this begin- 
ning came the 'Jefferson County Orphan Asylum;' the 
name being changed when the board of supervisors of the 
county resolved to send to it as boarders the pauper chil- 
dren of the county in 18G3. From the commencement of 
the ' Home' the number of children multiplied so rapidly 
that several removals of location were necessary, and then 
was agitated the feasibility of a permanent home. Already 
the benefit from the institution had exceeded expectation. 
Two years found thirty children crowded into the small 
home, while quite a number had homes found for them else- 
where. Now there was an imperative necessity for an ap- 
peal to the benevolent. It was made, and five thousand 
dollars resulted therefrom, and which exhausted our liber- 



ality for a short time only. One year passed, and then a peti- 
tion sent to Albany gave us, through the legislature, another 
five thousand, which enabled us to build the large, conve- 
nient three-story brick building, with a plentiful supply 
of good water, well ventilated, warmed, and drained, built 
in the midst of a grove, and which is now emphatically an 
' Orphan's Home.' It was finished, furnished, and occu- 
pied April 20, 186-1. Fifty children came in from the old 
home. The institution had no endowment, and had been 
sustained these five years by personal effort. Each month, 
as it came, all bills were paid. The sole management, dis- 
ciplinary, educational, and moral, with disbursements of 
funds, devolved upon a board of directresses, the president 
and trustees being advisory and fiscal managers. The Di- 
vine blessing has been given them, making their intercourse 
a joy and refreshment instead of laborious duty, — not a dis- 
cord marring the harmony of eighteen years' association. 
Blore than five hundred children have gone out into other 
homes from this institution, and more than half of this 
number into homes by adoption. Sixty-six children were 
received into the asylum in 1875-76 (the year ending 
October 1), and fifty-one in 1876-77." 

Appropriations have be^n received from tiie State from 
time to time in years past, which, being judiciously invested, 
yields an income which, added to the receipts from the 
county charges, and some others who are able to pay a por- 
tion of the expense of their board, sufBces to pay the run- 
ning expenses of the institution. A school is taught in 
the asylum throughout the year. It afibrds, too, a home 
for the children of working women at a small expense, 
when they can pay at all, and gratuitously when they can- 
not. It is also a temporary refuge for mothers and their 
children, while the former are seeking employment, — nine 
mothers having been so accommodated the past year. The 
committees of the board of supervisors appointed from 
year to year to visit and inspect the asylum speak invai-ia- 
bly, in their reports, in terms of high commendation of the 
humanity and watchful care displayed in the management 
of the institution. The amount paid by the county for 
the board of the county and town charges at the asylum for 
the year ending November 1, 1876, was 12187.60, and for 
the year preceding $1809.05. 

The present ofiicers of the asylum are as follows : Presi- 
dent, Willard Ives ; Secretary, Judge E. Lansing ; Treas- 
urer, S. B. Upham ; Superintendent and Overseer, Geo. 
R. Torrey. 



Population by Towns from 1800 to 1815 — Politics— Popular Votes- 
Valuations and Taxation — Equalizations — State Loan — United 
States Deposit— Industry and Wealth, 1810 to 1870 — Agriuultural 
Society of Jefferson County — Farmers' Club — Dairymen's Board 
of Trade. 


The population of Jefferson County, by towns, at differ- 
ent periods from 1800 to 1875, being the exhibit of the 

Federal and State census of the years specified, has been 
as follows : 

















































































2 862 





Cnpe Vincent 





































of the people of Jefferson County will be best shown by a 
tabulation of the votes given at the Presidential elections 
since 1828, and showing those given at gubernatorial elec- 
tions for the years previous. For the vote previous to the 
year 1828, at which date the people first voted for Presi- 
dential electors direct, — they having been chosen by the 
Legislature previously, — the names of the candidates voted 
for are given, the people being divided into the Federalist 
and Republican parties in the earlier years, and Whig and 
Democratic later on. 

1801. For Governor, George Clinton, 66; Stcplien Van Rensselaer, 

56; total, 112. 
1804. Morgan Lewis, in Oneida county, 2165 ; Aaron Burr, 1782. 

The following are the votes given in Jefferson County : 

1807. Daniel D. Tompkins, 765; Morgan Lewis, 615; total, 1.S80. 
1810. Daniel D. Tompkins, 1076; John Broome, 1077; total, 2153. 
]813. Daniel D. Tompkins, 7.33; Stephen Van Rensselaer, 795 ; total, 

1816. Daniel D. Tompkins, 908; Rufus King, 858; total, 1766. 

1817. De Witt Clinton, C51; Peter B. Porter, . 

1820. De Witt Clinton, 762; Daniel D. Tompkins, 795 ; total, 1557. 
1822. De Witt Clinton, nearly unanimous; Solomon Southwiek (the 

returns of this year could not be found). 
1824. De Witt Clinton, 2779; Samuel Young, 2619; total, 6398. 
1826. De Witt Clinton, 3328; Smith Thompson, 1763; S. Southwiek, 

2204; total, 7295. 



For President : 


1828 3863 

1832 4419 

1836 3761 

1840 6257 

1844 5576 

1848 4841 

1852 6656 


1856 8249 

1860 8794 

1864 8688 

1868 8420 

1872 8463 

The vote of 1876 

Democratic. Abolition. Free-Soil. 




6630 59 

6291 712 

2445 4341 

6279 757 

3496 1058 






by towns was as follows : 

Eepubliciin. Democratic 
568 305 







Cape Vincent 






















Philadelphia . 
















City of Watertown : 

First Ward 329 

Second Ward 319 

Tbird Ward 240 

Fourth Ward 346 













237 566 

208 527 

269 609 

372 718 

Total, City 1234 1086 2320 

The several questions submitted to the popular vote in 
the county have resulted as follows : 

For the convention of 1821 3432 

For no convention 119 

For the adoption of the constitution of 1821 1953 

Against " " " 1144 

1826. On the manner of electing Presidential electors. By 

districts 2603 

General ticlict plurality 2000 

" " majority 35 

1826. For the election of justices of the peace 4702 

Against " " * " " 1 

1846. For the amended constitution 6603 

Against " " -. 1712 

For equal suffrage to colored persons 2791 

Against " " " 4536 

May — For license 4012 

** For no license 5644 

1849. For the free-school law 5997 

Against " " ,','.■..■ 3312 

1850. For the repeal of the free-school law 6064 

Against " " " " .■"■". 3959 

1864. For the amendment in relation to canals 3620 

Against " " " 2029 

1858. For convention to revise constitution 4078 

Against " " " ].'" 3224 

1869. For the revised constitution 4579 

Against " " "Z^^^. 4285 

1860. On the suffrage amendment — Fur 6073 

" " " Against ; 6470 

1864. On the amendment for voting of s-oldiers— For 6355 

" " " Against 818 

1865. For act to create State debt for bounties to volunteers 9341 

Against same act 322 

1866. For convention to revise constitution 7929 

Against" " " .'..'..'!.'.'.".'.'.".' 6166 

1869. For amended constitution 4394 

Against" " '..!!.'!.'.']].']!"!.'!! 4786 

For amended judiciary article 7763 

^giiinst " " " !;;!!;;." 1783 

For amended assessment and taxation article 4974 

Against " " <• " 4389 

For property qualifications for suffrage 4609 

Against" " " 5421 

1870. For act to provide for State debt for canal and general 

fnnd indebtedness 4292 

Against said act 7665 

1872. For constitutional amendment relative to Court of Ap- 

peals 2966 

Against such amendment 220 

1873. The question of the appointment of judges of the courts 

stood— For 191 

The question of the appointment of judges of the courts 

—Against 8621 

1876. On proposed amendment to Sec. 3, Art. v., of the con- 
stitution—For 8411 

On proposed amendment to See. 3, Art. i ., of the con- 
stitution—Against ; 2380 

On similar amendment to See. 4, Art. v., the vote was — 
For 8173 

On similar amendment to Sec. 4, Art. v., the vote was — 
Against 2029 

In May, 1846, Champion, Pamelia, and Theresa voted 
for license, and the remainder of the county against license. 
The majorities for license in the towns in which it was 
voted amounted to 78-; while the majorities in those towns 
which voted against license amounted to 1700. In 1847 
Henderson and Lorraine gave small majorities for no 
license, in Pamelia no vote was taken, and in all the other 
towns license was voted with aggregate majorities of 1512 
over 81. 


On the 18th of April, 1786, bills of credit to the amount 
of 200,000 pounds (New York currency) were emitted by 
the State for the relief of the people, in the way of a circu- 
lating medium, and loaned to the different counties according 
to their population, and loan commissioners appointed in 
each county to manage and loan the same on real estate 
security at five per cent, per annum, the loan to run fourteen 
years and limited to 300 pounds to any one person. These 
bills of credit were counterfeited, and in February, 1788, 
new bills were printed for those in circulation and the old 
ones retired, and death pronounced on all counterfeiters of 
the new issue. In 1796 another loan was made to the new 
counties,, and in 1807-8 still another loan was made by the 
creation of a debt by the State, bonds being issued therefor 
and sold, and the funds arising therefrom distributed pro 
rata among the counties on the basis of population, and 
commissioners appointed as before tu handle the funds in 
each county. The amount received by Jefferson County 
was 110,399.26, which was kept at interest as a separate 
fund, when it was consolidated with the 


the principal of which was deposited in the county in 1837, 
and amounted to $130,799.06, and separate and distinct 
commissioners appointed to loan the same. This deposit 
fund was the portion awarded to Jefferson County from the 
surplus moneys in the United States treasury deposited with 
the several States by act of congress of June 23, 1836, and 
the amount deposited with New York was, by act of the 
legislature of April 4, 1837, distributed among the several 
counties according to their population. The loans from 
this fund are limited between $200 and $2000 to a single 
individual, except in New York, where the limits are $500 
and $5000. The interest is charged at seven per cent., and 
the same paid into the State treasury, less fees and ex- 
penses of collection, and by the comptroller distributed 
among the counties for the support of schools and aeade- 



mies. The loan and deposit funds have been diminished 
until at the date of the last report of the commissioners — 
November 1, 1876— the amount charged against Jefferson 
County stood thus : 

Loaned on bond and mortgage $76,067.84 

Jefferson County volunteer bonds 26,700.00 

State stocks 5,879.36 

Mortgage No. 599 bid in for State 450.00 

Cash on hand 3,401.28 

VoM $111,498.48 


Public moneys were first raised in the Colony of New 
York, June 1, 1665, by warrant issued by the Governor, 
Colonel Nicholls, to the sheriff and collectors.* It would 
appear antecedent to this time the towns and counties raised 
moneys for their own use, but the precise mode is not 

known. A tax called a " benevolence'' was raised on the 
inhabitants, as appears from a letter from Governor Andross, 
and Smith observes " this proceeding was a badge of bad 
tinies.""j" In 1683, the first regular system of taxation by 
law was adopted. The wars of England with European 
nations, especially with the French, plunged the colony into 
an enormous debt, most burdensome to the inhabitants. 
From 1691 to 1709, the sum of sixty-one thousand eight 
hundred and sixty-one pounds was raised by the colonists 
for building forts, raising and paying troops, and for other 
war purposes, besides the excise tax of a penny in the 
pound for the ordinary and incidental charges of the colony 
Before 1776, the colonists were obliged to pay nearly one 
million pounds sterling. In 1788 the first regular system 
of taxation was adopted by the State. 

The valuations and taxation of Jefferson by periods of 
five years, since its organization, are here given, as follows : 


Acrea of 


ViUue of Real 


value of Per- 
sonal Prop- 






of Taxes. 

Pate of Tax- 
ation on $1 of 
valuation in 

























































































































The apportionment of taxes for 1876 is as follows, by towns : 

Towns and Wards. 





Cape Vincent 






Le Ray 










Watert'n City, 1st ward ") 

2d " I 

3d " f 

" 4th " J 



No. of 










44, f 
















Valuation ol 
Real Estate. 




























Valualiun of 





















[ 4,883,254 


of Personal 


































1?31, 222,857 $5,473,929 $36,696,786 

Amount of 



Amount of 
Tom n 



11, 617. 46 


Amount of 

State Tax 

for Schools. 



Amount of 
State Tax 

exclusive of 





Agere gate 
of Taxes. 









» Smith's History of New Yorlt, p. 31. f Ibid., p. 34. 

I These amounts do not include the amount raised for schools in the Districts. 


The above table does not include tbe school taxes raised by 
districts, which amounted to 180,677. 

The county taxes for 1876 were divided as follows : 

Payment of bonds. Interest and principnl ®§?'^oMn 

Charities, Poor-House, Asylums, and State Institutiuns... 31,2^1. 6U 
Court expenses, including sheriff, constables, jurors' fees, 

and salaries of judges, etc ^r ^^'m 

Indices to deed and mortgage records o'^Qona 

Court-house and jail repairs ' 5„ 

Pnnting 2,724.60 

Military expenses l,4»o.03 

Supervisors! 2,800.00 

School commissioners' salaries otXl.UU 

Miscellaneous accounts 492.99 

Total $171,627.08 

The State board of equalization equalized the assessment 
of Jefferson for State taxation for the year 1876 at the sum 
of $18,579,006, and assigned to Jefferson, as its quota of 
the State taxes, $64,252.39. 

The following valuations were placed on corporate prop- 
erty for taxation in 1876, viz.: 

Home, Watertown and Ogdcnsburgh railroad ."^l, 144,937 

Utioa and Black River railroad 229,125 

Carthage, Walertown and Sacket's Harbor railroad 278,220 

Black Kiver and Morristown railroad 78,705 

Total railroad valuation $1,730,987 

Mining companies $120,900 

Manufacturing companies 362,000 

Insurance companies 824,437 

Park association v.. 4,000 

Total $3,042,324 

By the report of the county treasurer, for the year end- 
ing November 25, 1876, it appears that the gross receipts 
of revenue for the year were as follows : 

Nov. 23, 1875. Balance on hand from old account $4,047.41 

Nov. 25, 1876. Received from collectors 291,736.19 

" " taxes collected by himself.. 1,283.56 

" " fines 1,078.34 

" " licenses 2,783.00 

'* " comptroller I ^a «,«.,« 

School money ' | 50,019.16 

Sundry items 507.21 

Total $351,454.87 

Leaving a balance on hand, after payments according to 
vouchers presented, of $940.90. 

In 1866 the committee of the board of supervisors ap- 
pointed to equalize the real estate of the several towns for 
county taxation, made a report, which was adopted by the 
board, fixing the assessment of real estate of Watertown at 
$2,326,239. The people of Watertown, feeling aggrieved 
at this equalization, instructed their supervisor to appeal 
from the action of the board to the comptroller, which he 
did, and that official decided that $1,358,461 ought to be 
deducted from the amount of the equalized assessment, and 
the excess of taxes, in consequence of such excessive valua- 
tion, to wit, $21,192, ought to be paid back to Watertown. 
The board of supervisors were not content with this findin"' 
of the comptroller, and therefore brought the case by cer- 
tiorari hefore the supreme court, which, in 1869, modified 
the comptroller's decision, placing the true excess of equal- 
ized value at $864,808, and the true excess of tax at 
$13,491, and ordered the board to levy that excess of tax 
on the towns of the county, except Watertown, and pay 
the amount over to the latter town. The board refused to 
obey the decree of the court, and a. mandamus was issued 
November 25, 1869, from, the supremo court to compel the 

board to levy the tax, whereupon the case was taken to the 
court of appeals, which affirmed the decision of the supreme 
court, and sent the case back to the lower tribunal for final 
judgment and collection. In November, 1870, the board 
voted to levy the tax, but disagreed as to the interest and 
costs which had accumulated, whereupon another writ of 
mandamus was issued, commanding the board to levy a sum 
sufficient, on the other towns of the county, to pay Water- 
town the judgment interest and cost, then amounting to 
$14,257.70, which the board proceeded to do. 

Bonds to the amount of $1,597,700 were issued by the 
authorities of Jefferson County, in aid of volunteer enlist- 
ments, in the War of the Rebellion. There was received 
from the State in 1865, on account of bounties paid, 
"$612,100, and the amount was used to reduce taxation and 
in buying up the outstanding and unmatured bonds of the 
county. The total taxes paid in the county in 1864 
amounted to $457,257.77, of which $258,631.07 were 
county taxes. The heaviest county tax" was paid in 1 869, 
the same amounting to $290,881.18, and the aggregate 
of taxes being $444,730.08. In 1866, the town taxes 
amounted to $115,086.34. From 1860 to 1876, both years 
inclusive, the people of Jefferson County have paid in taxes 
the sum of $5,683,246.10,* to the State, county, and 
town authorities, aside from their excise and internal 
revenue taxes. The amount of outstanding bonded in- 
debtedness of the county at the present writing is 
$332,000. The bonded indebtedness of the towns on 
November 1, 1876, and which was incurred by aid voted to 
railroads in 1869-1872, was as follows : 

Original Subscription. Amount Out^tanding. 

Alexandria $60,000 $60,000 

Champion 36,000 34,100 

Clayton 100,000 100,000 

Hounsfleld 75,000 76,000 

Philadelphia 30,000 29,000 

Rutlandf : 3,000 3,000 - 

Theresa ; 60,000 60,000 

Watertown (old town) 300,000 296,000 

Watertown CityJ 148,000 138,000 

Wilna 100,000 87,600 

Add county indebtedness 

Total indebtedness of county and towns. 

.. 332,000 



The census of 1800 and 1807 gave the number of legal 
voters with property qualifications only. The census of 
1810 gave the following returns of manufacturers in this 
county : 

Coltou goods made in families, yards (av. 32 cts.) 1,392 

Klaxon goods miide in fiuinlies, 'yards (av. :il}4 cts.) 10H,(i23 

Blended and unnained cloths, yards (av. 35 ets.)... 1,475 

Woolen goods made in limiilies, yalds (av. 87}/^ cts.) 51,013 

Looms C60 

Carding-machines R, pounds carded (av, 50 cts. ijer lb.) M.OUO 

FuUing-nulls 8, yards lillli'd (av. $lM!i por yard) 40,01)0 

Hiilteri.'s 2, hats made (av. $2.60) 1,OUO 

Furnaces 2, tons of iron (av. SIOU to $120 per ton) 6" 

Trip-luinnnois 2 

Tanneries 10 

Hides tanned (av. S4 25) 750 

Calf-skins tanned (av. SM2) 1000 

Oil-mills ;i, gallons made (av. 81.26) 9,660 

Distdleries 10, made (nv. 80 cts.) 32,000 

Breweries 2, gallons mada (av. 17 cts.) 2B,(i00 

Papor-niiUa 1, reams nuide (av. $J) 900 

The census of 1814, taken in pursuance of an act passed 
April 15 of that year, gave the following results : 

® Docs not include district school taxes, -j- Not for E. E. 1876. 
t Water bonds, $115,000. 



Totiil population in the thirteen towns 

Electors with freeholds of value of £100 

Electors with freeholds worth from £20 to £100 

Electors, not freeholders, renting tenements worth 40s. per iinnum 

Tree white males under 18 years of age 

" " " of the age of 18 and under 45 

" " " of 45 years and upwards 

Free white females under 18 years 

" " " of the age of 18 and under 45 

'* " " of 45 years and upwards 

All other free pei-sms 

Slaves (Brownvllle 1, Hounsfield 18, Le Kay 4, Watertown 5, Wllna 2J.. 






No statistics but those of population were taken at this 

The national census of 1820 gave the following returns : 

White males under 10 5,592 

" " from 10 toll) 2,450 

" '• " 16 to 18 700 

" " " 16 to 26, including heads of families 3,831 

" " " 26 to 46, " " 4,143 

White males, 45 and upwards, " " 1,574 

White females under 10 5,521 

•' from 10 to 16 2,397 

" " from 16 to 26, including heads of families 3,005 

" " " 26 to 45, " " 3,040 

White females of 46Hiirl upwards, including heads of families 1,250 

Foreigners not naturalized 787 

Pei'sous engaged in agriculture 134 

" " in manufacture 1,603 

Slaves (Antwerp 4, Le Ray 1) 5 

Colored males, free 79 

" females, free 63 

Statistics of agriculture and manufactures were taken in 
1820, but we are not aware that they were printed in de- 
tail by separate counties. 

The several State censuses, taken in 1825, 1885, and 
1845, give the following numbers of the diflForent classes of 
population and statistics of agriculture and manufactures in 
this county : 


Males 21,832 

Females 19,818 

Subject to military duty. 


Voters 8,153 

Aliens 1,030 

Paupers 157 

Colored persons not taxed I.'i2 

" " taxed 12 

" " voters 2 

Married females under 45 5,490 

Unmarried females 16 to 45 2,743 

" " under 16 9,657 

Married year previous 332 

Births— males, " 969 

" females, " 900 

Deaths — males, " 281 

" females, " 215 

Acres improved land 173,147 cattle 44,730 

Horses 8,072 

Sheep 96,408 

Hogs 38,290 

Yards fulled cloth year previous 76,814 

" flannel, etc 101,122 

" linen, cotton, etc 129,239 
















Carding-machines . 


Woolen -factories .. . 



















































































The census of 1830 and 1840 gave the following returns 
from Jefferson County. 



Whites under 6 4,361 

5 to 10 3,901 

" 10 " 16 3,211 

" 16 " 20 2,699 

" 20 " 30 4,376 

30 " 40 3,042 






















1830. 184U. 

Males. Fi'inalps. Males. Females. 

Whites40to 50 1,872 1,641 2,606 2,184 

" 50 " 60 1,030 880 1,567 1,406 

" 60 *' 70 474 417 838 727 

" 70 '' 80 195 176 351 299 

" 80 '' 90 47 4 79 96 

'* 90 " 100 2 4 11 7 

" over IfrO 2 

Colored persons 65 74 70 71 

From the census of 1840 we derive the following: 

Iron. — Cast-iron furnaces, 6; tons, 1166; forges — mil], 1; tons, 
80; tons of fuel cousutned, 1869; men employed, 256; capital in- 
vested, $59,000. 

Ltad. — Smelting-house, 1; pounds, 300,000; capital invested, 

F<ii-est. — Value of lumber, $247,448; tons pot and pearlash, 1006; 
value of furs and skins, $25 ; other products of the forest, $15,854; 
men employed, 131. 

Manufactured. — Machinery made, $35,000; men employed, 48; 
manufactures of metal, $22,000; men employed, 18; marble, value, 
$30; bricks and lime, $11,732; men employed, 32. 

WooL — Fulling-mills, 22 ; woolen manufactories, 11 ; value man- 
ufactured, $205,300; persons employed, 292; capital invested, 

Cotton. — Factories, 1 ; spindles, 1000; value manufactured, $16,000 ; 
persons employed, 40; capital invested, $10,000. 

Tobacco. — Manufactured, $1000; persons employed, 3. 

Hats, etc. — Value manufactured, $13,350; value straw bonnets, 
$1000; persons employed, 32; capital invested, $7000, 

Leather. — Tanneries, 31; sides sole leather tanned, 10,448; sides 
upper leather tanned, 22,340; men employed, 143; capital invested, 
$88,200; other manufactures of leather, $98,800; capital invested, 

Soap and Candles. — Pounds of soap, 19,700 ; tallow candles, 
pounds, 34,640; men employed, 5; capital invested, $3000. 

Distilled and Fermented Liquors. — Distilleries, 9 ; gallons produced, 
313,344; breweries, 8; gallons produced, 64,000; men employed, 31; 
capital invested, $37,500. 

Medicinal Drugs, Paints, etc., $1500. 

Paper. — Manufactory, 1 ; value made, $10,000. 

Printing, etc. — OflRces, 4 ; binderies, 1 ; weekly papers, 5 ; men 
employed, 28; capital invested, $15,300. 

Cordage. — Rope-walk, 1; value made, $8000; men employed, 5. 

Carriages, etc. — Value merchandise, $44,400; men employed, 76; 
capital invested, $20,150, 

Mills. — Flouring-mills, 8; barrels of flour made, 11,900; grist- 
mills, 34; saw-mills, 109; oil-mills, 4; value of manufactures, 
$299,514; men employed, 177; capital invested, $194,200. 

Furniture. — Value made, $24,250; men employed, 42; capital 
invested, $9340, 

ffouses. — Built of wood year previous, 147 ; brick and stone houses, 
23; men employed, 318; value of buildings, $223,790. 

All other manufactures not enumerated, $74,493; capital invested, 
$22,358; total manufacturing capital, $721,249. 

The census of 1845 gave many details, for which the 
former ones afford no means of comparison, viz. : 

Kativity.—'New York, 50,582; New England, 7528; other States, 
557; Great Britain and Provinces, 4200; France, 424; Germany, 
425; other European countries, 99. 

Children. — Between 5 and 16,18,619; attending common schools, 
15,659; attending private schools, 623; attending academies, 73; 
attending colleges, 14. 

Churches. — Baptist, 19; Episcopal, 6; Presbyterian, 16 ; Congre- 
gational, 9 ; Methodist, 24; Catholic, 5; Dutch Reformed, 3; Uni- 
tarian, 2; Jewish, 1; Quakers, 2. Number of clergymen, 106; 
salary, $28,040.30. 

Schools. — Academies, 1; common schools, 357; cost of schools, 
$74,927.70; cost of improvements, $3,041.10; pupils, 15,761; average 
attendance, 9386; private schools, 26; pupils, 620. 

Professions. — Attorneys, 48; physicians, 102; merchants, 200; 
manufacturers, 253; mechanics, 2369; farmers, 11,002; inns, 118; 
■wholesale stores, 3; retail stores, 101; groceries, 57. 

Cro^j^.—Wheat 32,949 acres, 421,819 bushels; corn 17,432 acres, 



467,230 bushels; bnrloy 11,007 acres, 159,872 bushels; peas 10,079 
acres, 153,374 bushels; oats 26,462 acres, 709,232 bushels; rye 9989 
acres, 65,457 bushels ; buckwheat 2882 acres, 42,128 bushels ; potatoes 
6628 acres, 1,235,139 bushels; beans 660 acres, 6974 bushels; turnips 
159 acres, 18,538 bushels; flax 1106 acres, 208,545 pounds. Cows 
milked, 41,360. Butter, 3,080,767 pounds. Cheese, 2,802,314 pounds. 

The census of 1850 furnishes the following statistics : 

Total population, 68,153; males, 34,748; females, 33,223; colored 
(males 90, females 92), 182; United States born, 60,281; foreign 
born, 7872; deaths year previous to June 1, 572; marriages year 
previous to June 1, 773; persons over 20 who cannot read, 1677; do. 
foreigners, 899. 

Dwelling-houses, 11,926; families, 12,235; farms, 5500; number 
of churches, 89; children attending school, 18,605. 

Manufacturing capital, 81,443,002 ; raw material used, 81,452,345 ; 
value of product, 82,667,983; males employed, 2094; females em- 
ployed, 391. 

Acres of improved land, 418,640; acres of unimproved land, 
179,799; cost value of farms, 813,986,823; cost value of farming im- 
plements and machinery, 8679,293. Live-stock — number of horses, 
16,406; mules, 1; milch cows, 45,186; working oxen, 3436; other 
cattle, 29,370; sheep, 60,330; swine, 27,873; value of live-stock, 
§2,515,100; value of slaughtered animals, 8323,360. 

Agricultural Products. — Bushels of wheat, 276,137; rye, 71,370; 
corn, 367,731; oats, 430,363; barley, 227,416; buckwheat, 15,182; 
peas and beans, 76,244; potatoes, 77,417; pounds wool, 192,168; 
butter, 3,584,376; cheese, 4,192,719; hay, 131,949 tons; elovcr-seed, 
31 bushels; other grass-seeds, 6127 bushels; fia.v, pounds, 2964; 
flax-seed, bushels, 644; maple-sugar, pounds, 818,394; molasses, gal- 
lons, 1706; wine, 54 gallons; beestvax and honey, 26,186 pounds; 
value of home-made products, 880,110; value of orchard products, 
SJ.'^'.227 : value of products of market-gardens, 82056. 

Of the place of nativity of the citizens of the county the 
census of 1850 gives the following: New York, 53,199 ; 
Maine, 88 ; New Hampshire, 816 ; Vermont, 2055 ; Mas- 
sachusetts, 1877 ; Rhode Island, 338 ; Connecticut, 1369 ; 
New Jersey, 169 ; Pennsylvania, 103 ; Delaware, 8 ; Mary- 
land, 14; District of Columbia, 8; Virginia, 11; North 
Carolina, 1 ; South Carolina, 1 ; Georgia, 1 ; Louisiana, 3 ; 
Ohio, 60 ; Michigan, 42 ; Illinois, 27 ; other States, 31 ; 
England, 1047 ; Ireland, 2546 ; Scotland, 284 ; Wales, 55; 
Germany, 585 ; France, 401 ; Holland, 2 ; Italy, 6 ; Swit- 
zerland, 65 ; Prussia, 1 ; British America, 2830 ; West 
Indies, 1 ; other countries, 17 ; unknown, 52. 

From the census of 1860 we gather the following infor- 
mation : White population, 34,898 males, 34,713 females; 
total white, 69,611. Colored, 102 males, 107 females; 
total colored, 209. Total population, 69,820. 

Of the above-enumerated inhabitants 30,096 white males 

and 30,270 white females were native-born ; and 4804 males 

and 4446 females were foreign-born. Of the colored people 

189 were natives of the States, and 20 were foreign-born, 

making the aggregate native population 60,555, and the 

foreign-born 9270. 

The agricultural statistics are as follows : 

Improved acres, in farms 510 920 

Unimproved lands 293,490 

Cash value of farms §26,642,788 

A'alue of farming implements and machinery 866,040 

Value of live-stock 3 441 g25 

A'iiluc of orchard products 45 860 

V'ajue of products of market-gardens S 034 

Value of home-made miinufacturcs 34 072 

A^lIuc of animals slaughtered 39S 299 

Live-Stock. — Hor,ses, 16,343; mules, 6; milch cows, 
55,512; working oxen, 2114; other cattle, 23,554; sheep, 
34,665; swine, 18,071. 

Productions. — Whu&t, 574,308 bushels; rye, 47,134 

bushels; corn, 435,645 bushels; oats, 571,813 bushels; 
barley, 375,464 bushels; buckwheat, 7777 bushels ; peas and 
beans, 79,238 bushels ; potatoes, 555,325 bushels ; tobacco, 
750 pounds; wool, 122,049 pounds; win-e,1399 gallons; but- 
ter, 4,890,980 pounds; cheese, 4,773,109 pounds; hay, 133,- 
400 tons; clover-seed, 29 bushels ; grass-seed, 9523 bushels; 
hops, 23,913 pounds; flax, 72 pounds; flax-seed, 73 bushels; 
maple-sugar, 857,790 pounds; maple-molasses, 4136 gal- 
lons; beeswax, 1416 pounds; honey, 22,933 pounds. 

There were 84 farms containing from 3 to 10 acres; 
235 from 10 to 20 acres ; 1542 from 20 to 50 acres ; 2320 
from 50 to 100 acres; 1907 from 100 to 500 acres; and 
9 from 500 to 1000 acres; 6097 farms all told, of all 

The census of 1S70 revealed the following exhibit of the 
population of Jefferson County : total number of inhabi- 
tants, 65,414, 236 being colored; 55,379 were natives of 
the United States, and 10,036 were foreign-born. Of the 
natives 51,704 were born in the State of New York, 782 in 
Massachusetts, 497 in Connecticut, 1158 in Vermont, 138 
in Pennsylvania, and 70 in New Jersey. Of the foreign- 
born, 4883 were born in British America, 1021 in England 
and Wales, 2540 in Ireland, 250 in Scotland, 912 in Ger- 
many, 299 in France, 1 in Sweden, 84 in Switzerland, 3 in 
Holland, 7 in Poland, and 7 in Austria. There were 
8893 males of the school age, from five to eighteen years ; 
12,644 males of the military age, eighteen to forty-five 
years; 17,779 males of the voting age, twenty-one years 
and upwards, and 15,973 were male citizens. The males 
of all ages numbered 32,434, and the females, 32,980 ; 
15,617 children attended the schools the year previous to 
June 1, 1870; 14,708 being natives, and 849 foreign- 
born ; 4355 males and 3918 females over ten years of age 
could not read among the white population, and 17 males 
and 20 females of the colored people were in the like 
illiterate condition; 2986 natives and 1179 foreign-born, 
over fifteen years, could not write. 

The industrial statistics were as follows : 

Acres improved 554,155 

" woodland 129,867 

" other improved lauds 13,490 

Cash value of farms §33,432,152 

Value of farm implements and machinery 1,266,729 

Total wages paid during year, including value of board... 811,311 
Value (estimated) of all farm products, including better- 
ments and additions to stock S,276,.34S 

Value orchard products 116,622 

Value of market garden products 14,715 

Value of forest products -. 119,266 

Value of home manufactures 36,050 

Value of animals slaughtered '. 660,376 

Value of live-stock 5,809,161 

True value of real estate and personal property 40,019,23.i 

Assessed value of same 15,127,745 

Live-Stock. — Horses, 15,564; mules, 16; milch cows, 
72,980 ; working oxen, 557 ; other cattle, 22,968 ; sheep, 
26,300 ; swine, 13,930. Productions. — Wheat, spring, 
181,956 bushels, winter, 46,816 bushels; rye, 36,809 
bushels; corn, 221,551 bjashels ; oats, 1,058,227 bushels; 
barley, 415,704 bushels; buckwheat, 23,837 bushels; peas 
and beans, 86,602 bushels; potatoes, 507,349 bushels; 
tobacco, 1350 pounds: wool, 104,459 pounds; butter, 
4,883,508 pounds ; cheese, 2,545,654 pounds ; milk sold, 
8,560,481 gallons ; hay, 223,343 tons ; clover-seed, 387 
bushels; grass-seed, 10,033 bushels; hops, 262,738 bushels; 



flax, 35,850 pounds ; flax-seed, 148 bushels ; maple-sugar, 
529,109 pounds ; maple-molasses, 1883 gallons ; beeswax, 
1198 pounds ; honey, 10,504 pounds. There were 5788 
farms of all sizes, the larger ones increasing over 1860, 
there being 2290 containing from 100 to 500 acres, and 12 
containing from 500 to 1000 acres. 

Tlie manufacturing interests made the following exhibit: 
there were 737 establishments, 41 of which were operated 
by steam, requiring 801 horse-power, and 364 were ope- 
rated by water-power of 9223 horse-power. Of 3455 
operatives employed, 2776 were males above the age of six- 
teen years, 555 were females above fifteen years, and 124 
were youth. The capital invested amounted to $3,813,092; 
the total amount of wages paid, $941,944; cost of materials 
used, $4,753,521, and value of the products of the same, 
$7,241,000. These industries were classified as follows : 









































■ o5,000 





] 00,000 





































































Bread and other bakery piuducts. 















castings (uot specified) 








engines and boilers.... 
















Tin, copper, and aheet-iion waie.. 


Wool-cii'rdi °g and cloth-dressing. 


The census of 1875 being at the time of this compilation 
unpublished, no statistics of agriculture or industry are 
obtainable. The population of the county was 65,362, the 
voters numbering 17,143, of which 14,570 were natives, and 
2573 were naturalized aliens. 


The following history of the Jefferson County Agricul- 
tural Society is clipped from Dr. Hough's History of Jef- 
ferson County: 

" As the tillage of the soil has been and must necessarily 

continue to be the principal source of wealth in the county, 
every measure tending to the promotion of this object is 
especially deserving of notice. Such was the feeling that 
in 1817 prompted to the formation of an agricultural soci- 
ety, which has ever since continued in active and efiioient 
operation, surviving every other county society in the State 
that originated at an early period, and at present exerting 
a beneficial influence comparable with the most flouri.shing. 

" The first act for the encouragement of agriculture or 
manufactures that operated in the county was passed April 
8, 1808, giving eighty dollars premium to the one who 
should produce the best ispecimen of woolen cloth of uni- 
form texture and quality not less than thirty yards long. 
Tlie award was to be made by the judges of the court of 
common pleas, and paid by the comptroller. Mr. Le Ray, 
having imported some fine wool sheep, thus afforded the 
material, and specimens were produced by Hart Massey 
and Noadiah Hubbard, which were so nearly alike in qual- 
ity that the premium was divided between them. Some 
irregularity in application made a special act necessary, 
which was passed March 19, 1810. 

" The Jefferson County Agricultural Society was formed 
at the house of Isaac Lee, in Watertown, October 25, 1817, 
at which J. D. Le Ray was chosen president; Jacob Brown, 
first vice-president; Ethel Bronson, second vice-president; 
Egberc Ten Eyck, secretary; Oren Stone, treasurer, and 
one in each town as a local committee, viz. : William BI. 
Lord, Hounsfield ; Hart Massey, Watertown ; George White, 
Rutland; Noadiah Hubbard, Champion; Ahiza Smith, 
Henderson; Eliphalet Edmonds, Adams; Nathan Strong, 
Rodman; Ebenezer Wood, Ellisburg; Clark Allen, Lor- 
raine; John B. Esselstyn, Lyme; Walter B. Cole, Brown- 
ville; Roswell Woodruff, Le Ray; Silvius Hoard, Antwerp; 
Thomas Brayton, Wilna. 

"This was the second county society in the State, that 
of Otsego county being the first. The first in the Union 
is said to have been that of Berkshire county, Massachu- 
setts, after which the most of those that followed have been 
modeled. Mr. Elkanah Watson, who may be said to have 
been its founder, gives the following account of its origin :* 

"In the fall of 1807, having procured the first pair of 
merino sheep that had appeared in that county, if not in 
the State, which, although defective in grade, were far su- 
perior to any that had been before seen, he was induced to 
notify an exhibition under the great elm-tree, in the public 
square, in Pittsfield, of these two sheep, on a certain day. 
Many farmers, and even women, wore excited by curiosity 
to attend this first, novel, and humble exhibition, and its 
projector, giving to his reasoning the rule-of-three form, 
thus argued to himself: If two animals are capable of ex- 
citing so much attention, what would be the effect on a 
larger scale, with larger animals? This little incident sub- 
sequently led to other and more extensive operations in the 
line of exhibitions, until the sphere of their influence has 
come to embrace the entire range of domestic industry, ex- 
citing emulation in the lowly cottage and among the humble 
classes as well as with the more opulent, and diffusing the 

"■■■■ History of Agricultural Societies on the Modern Berkshire 
System, p. 116. 



republican principle of equality by elevating and dignify- 
ing the pursuits of the laboring classes. 

"The following is a copy of the first articles of associa- 
tion of our county society : 

"'1. The objects ofthis society are the promotion and improvement 
of agricultural and rural economy. 

" ' 2. Every member of this society shall subscribe these articles, or 
a copy thereof, and pay, at the time of subscribing, one dollar to the 
treasury for the use of the society ; he shall also pay in like manner, 
on or before the second Tuesday of October, one dollar, annually, so 
long as he continues a member; and whenever a member chooses to 
withdraw, he shall have liberty so to do on giving notice in writing 
to the secretary and paying all arrears and dues, including the cur- 
rent year. 

" ' 3. The officers of the society shall consist of a president, two 
vice-presidents, a secretary, and a treasurer, to be chosen by ballot, 
and such other officers as the by-laws shall direct. 

"'i. The next meeting of the society shall be on the last Monday 
of December next, at the house of Isaac Lee; at which meeting, and 
at any future stated meeting of the society, the members present 
shall have power to make such laws and regulations as they shall 
deem expedient for carrying into effect the objects of this society. 

" ' 6. No salary or pecuniary reward shall be allowed to any officer 
or committee of this society for discharging their official duties.' 

" The by-laws provided for two stated meetings annually, 
on the first Mondays of March and October, at the first of 
which the ofiicers were to be elected, and at the latter a 
fair was to be held. The general affairs of the society 
were vested in a committee, consisting of the president, 
secretary, and five members; and a committee of three 
members was to be appointed in each town to distribute 
seeds, plants, scions, books, etc., and to receive and transmit 
meritorious communications to the central body. Honorary 
members were to be admitted on a two-third vote. A 
'viewing committee,' of five, to judge on the improve- 
ments and cultivation of lands ; a ' committee of produce,' 
nine in number, to judge on the quantity and quality of 
produce; and an 'inspecting committee,' of nine, for do- 
mestic animals, were to be annually appointed by the exec- 
utive committee. 

"The first address before the society was delivered by 
Le Ray de Chaumont. After alluding to the interest he 
had felt on this subject, and the part he had taken in the 
first settlement of Otsego county, in 1785, he adds: 

" ' It has now the honor to take tho lead in establishing in this great 
Slate the first agricultural society. I mention this example more 
particularly as being, by a greater analogy with us, more easy to fol- 
low, and to excite a noble and profitable emulation. . . . The object 
of our society, and its more direct business, is to encourage every 
branch of agriculture and rural economy best adapted to our soil 
and climate, by a well-digested combination of science and practice; 
to promote inquiries and receive information the most useful to ag- 
riculture; to suggest experiments and improvements which may tend 
to the amelioration and prosperity of agriculture, and, of course, our 
manufactures, of which they are the aliment and support. By pre- 
miums we excite a spirit of generous pride and emulation ; a desire to 
gain a knowledge of the most profitable and practical husbandry; to 
get the best breeds of domestic animals; to more neatly cultivate our 
farms; to raise the cleanest and best crops; in a word, to make agri- 
culture more systematic, lucrative, and respectable.' 

"From this quotation it was evident that at that period 
the advantages to be derived from association were fully 
appreciated, and the experience of nearly forty years has 
done little more than to confirm the views of these pioneer 
founders of the society. The venerable John Adams, ex- 

president of the United States, received, with others, a copy 
of the proceedings of the first meeting, and he thus wrote: 

" ' QuiNCY, February 12, 1818. 

tiigia I have received and read with pleasure an address to the 

Agricultural Society of Jefferson County, in the State of New York, 
and as I know not from whom it came, who should I thank for it but 
its author ? I rejoice in every new society which has agriculture for 
its object, and see with delight that the spirit is spreading through 
the United States. If I could worship any of the heathen gods, it 
would be old Saturn, because I believe him to be only an allegorical 
personification of Agriculture, and the children he devoured to be 
only his own grapes and figs, apples and pears, wheat and barley. 
I agree with you in the main in every sentiment, particularly rela- 
tive to grapes and corn ; yet we cannot have perfect roast beef, nor 
perfect roast spare-rib, nor perfect poultry, without maize. We must 
therefore sacrifice a little luxury to a great deal of public good. 
From the style of this address I should not have suspected it to have 
been written by any other than a native of this country. Thirty- 
nine years ago I little thought I should live to see the heir-apparent 
to the princely palaces and garden of Passy, my fellow-citizen in the 
republican wilderness of America, laying the foundation for more 
ample domains and perhaps more splendid palaces. I observed the 
motto of the Hotel de Valenciennes, which I had then the honor to 
inhabit, " se stu heve, voii se move,'' — If you stand well, stand still. 
But you have proved the maxim not to be infallible, and I rejoice in 


" ' Your sincere well wisher and humble servant, 

" ' John Adams. 
" ' Le Ray de ChaumonU' 

"At the first meeting, upon motion of Ethel Bronson, 
a committee of nine persons, styled a ' committee of man- 
ufactures,' was added to those previously existing. 

"The first cattle-show and fair of the society was held 
on the 28th and 29th of September, 1818. The first day 
was devoted to the exhibition of stock and domestic manu- 
facture, and in receiving communications on various sub- 
jects presented by the occasion. Governor Clinton, Gen- 
eral Stephen Van Rensselaer, Colonel Jenkins, G. Parish, 
and other distinguished strangers were present on the stand 
with the ofiicers of the society. The pens for cattle were 
arranged in a circle, the platform in the centre, and the do- 
mestic manufactures were displayed in the court-house. 
In the course of the afternoon Roswell Woodrufi' exhibited 
a cart drawn by seventeen yoke of oxen and steers, the 
product of his own farm. Judge Hubbard and Colonel 
Harris, of Champion, exhibited a cart drawn by fifteen yoke 
of very fine fat cattle, and the ofiicers of the society dined 
at the house of Butler Ranney, where extensive prepara- 
tions had been made for the occasion. On the 29th a 
plowing-matoh came ofi^ with horse- and ox-teams, after 
which a procession was formed, which, preceded by a band 
of music attached to the Second Regiment United States 
Infantry, marched to the court-house, while a salute was 
fired at the arsenal, under the direction of Major Masters. 
An address was delivered by J. D. Le Ray de Chaumont, 
the president of the society, which was followed by one by 
De Witt Clinton, then Governor of the State. Believing 
that the latter will be read with peculiar interest, we here 
insert it: 

" ' Independent of the very flattering references which have been 
made in the very able address just delivered, and which demand my 
sincere acknowledgments, it would be difficult for me to refrain from 
expressing the high gratification which I have derived from the first 
exhibition of this respectable association. 

" ' When we recollect that scarcely twenty years have passed away 
since the first inhabitant erected his hut in this county, and when we 



see that it now contains ilourishing villages and a considerable pop- 
ulation, characterized, as the proceedings of this day evince, by intel- 
ligent views and well-directed exertions ; that its soil is uncommonly 
fertile and its climate eminently salubrious; and when we consider 
that with the natural advantages which flow from its extensive con- 
nection with our interior seas, and the artificial facilities which it 
will derive from the improvements of our internal navigation, the 
markets of the north and south will be open to its productions, we 
must be persuaded that the attainment of fullness of population and 
exuberance of wealth depends entirely upon yourselves. 

" 'You have, gentlemen, wisely chosen the true road which leads to 
prosperity. Agriculture is the source of subsistence; subsistence is 
the basis of population ; and population is the foundation of prosper- 
ity and power. Agriculture is also the parent of individual and na- 
tional opulence. It comprehends in its operations all the sources of 
wealth. It employs land, labor, and capital. It comprises the cul- 
tivation of all the fruits of the earth, embraces almost every method 
of obtaining food for labor, and includes the raising of domestic an- 
imals, because that employment is necessarily identified with the 
cultivation of vegetable food. And as the prosperity of a country 
essentially depends upon the quantity of surplus produce derived 
from the soil, and as the amount of the materials of subsistence will 
always be regulated by the exertions of agriculturists, it is evident 
that its benefits in these respects cannot be too highly appreciated. 
But when we further reflect that it is favorable to exercise, the guar- 
dian of health, to contemplation, the parent of wisdom, to activity, 
the friend of virtue, and — to adopt the emphatic language of a su- 
blime poet — to that 

"Swoet peace which goodness bis'jms ever," 
we must all admit that, as it was the first, it is also the best. 

"' Among the various measures adopted for the promotion of this 
pursuit, and its invariable companion, domestic manufactures, the 
most effectual is the establishment of societies for the collection and 
diffusion of information, and for the excitement of industry and em- 
ulation. This plan has been adopted in this county, and a wise legis- 
lature will cherish such institutions with extraordinary patronage. 
It is pleasing to see at tte head of this establishment distinguished 
men, applying with so much public spirit the gifts of nature, the 
endowments of education, and the bounties of fortune to the im- 
provement of this favored region. It is gratifying to perceive men 
who have encircled themselves with high renown, and elevated the 
character of their country, planting the olive by the laurel, and cul- 
tivating the arts of peace with the same ability with which they 
directed the storm of war. And it is a subject of high felicitation to 
witness this confederacy of scientific and practical men ; to behold 
the experienced agriculturist and the enlightened professional man 
combining their powers in favor of agriculture and domestic manu- 
factures, and devising ways and means to promote the public pros- 

"'There was a period of danger, when the eyes of the people of 
this State were directed with peculiar anxiety to this region; when 
you passed with honor through the difficulties with which you were 
environed, and vindicated the character of America at the point of 
the sword. On this day the public eye is fixed on you with equal 
attention to view the prosperity of your agriculture and the wide- 
spreading and far-extending progress of your useful improvements; 
and I am happy to say that there will be no disappointment. The 
distinguished gentlemen who have united with me in this visit also 
unite with me in this expression of approbation. We offer you our 
best acknowledgments for your friendly invitation and cordial recep- 
tion, and we humbly implore the blessiugs of the Almighty on you 
individually and collectively, and on the inhabitants in general of 
this flourishing county.' 

" The first viewing committee, in 1818, consisted of Sam- 
uel Brown, James Parker, Simeon Hunt, Curtis G. Brooks, 
and Samuel Evans, who visited nine towns, examined 
seventy-five subjects, and awarded twenty-two premiums in 
cups, goblets, and spoons, worth $128. Three premiums 
in plate, worth |25, were awarded on the plowing-match ; 
eighteen premiums on stock, worth $156, and fourteen on 
domestic manufactures, worth $93, were awarded. At the 
clos3 of the exercises the society adjourned to attend the 

sale of the premium ox, which had been presented to the 
society by its worthy president. It was sold in small par- 
cels, and amounted to $619. 

"On the 7th of April, 1819, the sum of $10,000, for 
two years, was applied by law to the encouragement of 
county societies for the promotion of agriculture and domes- 
tic manufactures, of which sum this county received $200. 
Under this act the presidents of county societies assembled 
at Albany and formed a board of agriculture. Of this 
board Mr. Le Ray was elected vice-president. No pro- 
vision being made for a continuance beyond two years, 
many county societies disbanded, but this continued in 
operation, and held regular meetings and fairs. 

" On the 28th of March, 1828, an act was passed incor- 
porating Le Ray de Chaumont, Perley Keyes, Elisha Camp, 
Peter N. Cushman, Egbert Ten Eyck, Rodney Burt, Daniel 
Eames, Micah Sterling, Noadiah Hubbard, Orville Hunger- 
ford, George White, Hiram Merrill, John Brown, Curtis 
Golden, Samuel C. Kennedy, Ezekiel Jewett, Albert Bray- 
ton, Samuel Brown, John B. Esselstyn, Abijah Farwell, 
Edmund Kirby, V. Le Ray de Chaumont, Alfred Freeman, 
Simeon Hunt, Stoel Warner, Asa Carter, Jonathan Graves, 
William Doxtater, Clark Allen, Liberty Bates, and such as 
might join them, as the Jefferson County Agricultural 
Society. J. Le Ray was named first president; P. Keyes, 
E. Camp, and P. N. Cushman, vice-presidents ; 0. Hunger- 
ford, treasurer; E. Ten Eyck, secretary. Elections were 
to be held on the last Tuesday of September, and the in- 
come was limited to $5000. Under this act the society 
continued to hold annual fairs, with one or two excej)(;ions, 
until reorganized under the general act of 1841. 

"In March, 1830, members of the society, then the 
only one of the class existing in the State, petitioned the 
legislature for the power of offering premiums for horses of 
the best speed, and that the racing of horses for such pre- 
miums might be allowed under proper regulations and 
restrictions. The petitioners set forth that the rearing of 
horses is much attended to in the country ; ' that the value 
of horses in market depends much upon their speed and 
activity ; but that, owing to the restrictions now existing 
by law, it is impossible properly to test the speed of horses 
at home, and, consequently, they can not command that 
price in market which they would command could their 
value be known. The soil of the county is well adapted to 
the growing of grains, both fine and coarse ; but, in conse- 
quence of the distance from the markets of the State, those 
productions will not bear transportation, so that the farmers 
are compelled to resort to the raising of live-stock as almost 
the only resource for money in the county.'* This petition 
met with a favorable report from the committee to whom it 
was referred, but failed to procure a law authorizing a race- 

" A convention for the formation of a State Agricultural 
Society met at Albany, February 14, 1832, of which Le 
Ray de Chaumont was chosen president. The other dele- 
gates from Jefferson County were Orville Hungerford, V. 
Le Ray de Chaumont, Edmund Kirby, Jason Fairbanks, 
Isaac H. .Bronson, Perley Keyes, Robert Lansing, Nathan 

* Assembly Documents, 1830, vol. iv. No. 308. 



Strong, Philip Maxwell, and Robert Nichols. The result 
of this convention was the formation of a State Society 
having for its objects to improve the condition of agricul- 
ture, horticulture, and the household arts. Besides the 
usual officers of such organizations it had a general com- 
mittee, the members of which were to be located in the 
several counties, and be equal to the representation in the 
assembly. Those appointed in JeiFerson County were V. 
Le Ray de Chaumont, Edmund Kirby, and Egbert Ten 

" By this act no provision was made for county societies. 
In December, 1833, the Jefferson County Society addressed 
a memorial urging this object, and calling attention to their 
own county in proof of the beneficial results of these organ- 
izations, as shown in improved breeds of stock, in the 
general practice of better and more systematic husbandry, 
and in a wholesome spirit of emulation, imparting value to 
farms and respectability to farmers. An anxious desire for 
an extension of these benefits induced this application, in 
which, of the two plans which had been before the legisla- 
ture at its former session, one of which provided for the 
establishment of agricultural schools, and the other for 
county and State societies, they expressed their preference 
for the latter, as at that time more extensively useful. The 
committee who signed this memorial were J. Le Ray de 
Chaumont, E. Ten Eyck, E. Kirby, George White, Olney 
Pearce, and Orville Hungerford. 

" On the 5th of May, 1841, an act for the encouragement 
of agricultural societies was passed, by which this was to 
receive 8183 for five years, and on the 19th of June of 
that year a new organization was completed. In the sum- 
mer of 1843 the society erected in the rear of the court- 
house a hall, 105 by 50 feet, at a cost of $1000, for the 
holding of fairs. On the 24th of August, 1851, the 
executive committee re.solved to purchase ten acres of land 
on the Brownville road, about half a mile west of the rail- 
road, which was inclosed, and the building originally built 
near the court-house removed and fitted up with additions 
for the permanent use of the society. Great credit is due 
to the forecast of the executive committee in thus securing 
a most eligible site for the annual fidrs of the society." 

Since the first purchase of ten acres, the society has 
added five more, and erected stabling and hall facilities, 
having at the present time accommodations for over two 
hundred head of stock, four halls for floral and other dis- 
plays, a grand stand, seated and covered, and the grounds 
well fenced. The society held its sixtieth annual fair at 
Watertown, on September 11 to 13, inclusive, 1877, at 
which there were fifteen hundred entries of live-stock, do- 
mestic manufactures, products of mechanical- arts, products 
of the farm and garden, ladies' handiwork, etc. The re- 
ceipts were 83500, |2802 being the gate fees ; $1200 were 
paid in premiums. Hon. William M. White, of Alleghany 
county, New York, delivered the annual address. Th°e ofii- 
cers of the society for 1877 were, Gen. S. D. Hun-erford 
president; James M. Felt, general superintendent ; Charles 
Richardson, treasurer; Wines R. Skeels, secretary.- 

was an outgrowth from the agricultural society, founded in 

a laudable desire to improve the general stock of informa- 
tion and modes of practice in agricultural operations. It 
was organized in 1870, its first president being Clift Eames 
and A. C. Middleton its first secretary. During its exist- 
ence of four years, its meetings were made interesting by 
able essays and spirited discussions on agricultural subjects 
and much benefit accrued therefrom to those who attended 
its sessions. In 1874, David Hamlin suggested to the 
members the formation of the 


which suggestion was put into successful operation, the 
board of trade being organized in May of the last-named 
year. Its first officers were, David Hamlin, president ; Mad- 
ison Cooper, vice-president ; Luman D. Olney, treasurer ■ 
W. R. Skeels, secretary. The first meeting was held June 
6, 1874. During the first year of its existence fifty-three 
cheese-factories were represented in the board ; in 1875 
ninety-two factories ; and in 1876, sixty-nine. On the 2d 
day of October, ] 875, forty-nine factories offered 27,939 
boxes of cheese, averaging sixty pounds to tlie box. On 
the 10th of July, in the same year, 9922 boxes were sold 
weighing 595,320 pounds, averaging 11 J cents per pound, 
or $68,461.80 for the total sales. Seventy-eight factories 
were represented in these sales. The buyers come from all 
parts of the United States and Canada to the sessions of 
the board, which are held on Saturdays of each week. The 
success of the board, in the advantages gained by the pro- 
ducers, exceeds the expectations of its founders, and the 
competition created by it tends to make the standard of the 
product of the factories higher, which commands at the 
present time the best markets at home or abroad. The 
present officers are, H. W. Hadsell, president, and Wines 
R. Skeels, secretary ; BIr. Skeels having held the position 
since the first organization of the board. The sessions of 
the board are held in the city of Watertown. 



First Election— Manner of holding Elections— Constitutional Legis- 
lation—Qualifications of Suffrage— Council of Appointment— Con- 
gressional Districts and Members of Congress— The Legislature- 
Senatorial Districts and Senators- Assembly Districts and As. 
semblymen — Delegates to Constitutional Conventions— County 
Clerks— Sheriffs— County Treasurers— District Attorneys— Coro- 
ners— Loan Commissioners— E.\-cise Commissionors— School Com- 
missioners— Presiaontial Eleotors—Lieutenant-Governor. 

The first election held under color of law in the colony 
of New York was in 1665, when Governor Nicolls, early 
in that year, issued his proclamation to the inhabitants of 
Long Island, calling on them to elect deputies to a conven- 
tion to settle the aflFairs of the Province, to allay the dis- 
content that had arisen among the colonists under the 
Dutch, by the lack of a legislative body. The convention 
met at Hempstead, on the 1st of March, 1665 ; remained 
in session two or three days, passed the " Duke's Laws," 
and adjourned. This body, however, could hardly be called 



a legislative assembly, as it only confirmed laws of the Duke 
of York's own making. The Court of As.size, however, 
was established, which thenceforward exercised a limited 
legislative power in amending and adding to the duke's 
laws, subject to the latter personage's approval. This system 
was worse than the one under the Dutch governors, and 
greater dissatisfaction resulted among the people ; but they 
failed to get relief until the collector of the port of New 
York was arrested for detaining goods the duties on which 
had not been paid, and charged with high treason before 
the Court of Assize, and sent, by that tribunal, to England 
for trial ; which proceeding opened the eyes of the duke to 
the natural consequences of his arbitrary proceeding, when, 
to save his own private purse from the charge of the colony, 
he sent out Colonel Dongan, as governor, with power to 
convene a General Assembly. 

The new governor arrived in August, 1683, and on Sep- 
tember 13 he ordered the election of a General Assembly, 
consisting of fourteen representatives, which met October 
17, 1683, and again in October, 1684, and a new assembly 
was convened in 1685. But in the mean time the Duke 
of York had succeeded to the throne as James II., and 
having more funds at his disposal, the motive which 
prompted the general assembly was removed, and accord- 
ingly, June 16, 1686, he abolished that body, the assembly 
being dissolved January 20, 1687. In its stead James 
authorized the governor, by and with the consent of the 
council, to enact such laws as he deemed best, subject to 
the king's approval, and to become void if at any time 
disapproved. This arbitrary foi'm of government continued 
until June 3, 1689, when Captain Jacob Leisler seized the 
fort in the name of William and Mary, and issued writs 
for the election of members of assembly. Every county 
but Suffolk chose representatives. Tliis assembly met in 
April, 1690, and held two sessions, one in April and the 
other in October, passing altogether four laws. 

On March 19, 1691, Governor Sloughter arrived, com- 
missioned by the new sovereigns, and directed to re-establish 
the general assembly and reinstate the people in their 
rights.* The elections in the colony up to March 27, 
1778, were held before the sheriff, by poll or viva voce 
vote; but the constitution, in deference to the popular and 
growing demand for the ballot system, provided for the 
same as an " experiment," and directed the legislature to 
pass the necessary laws, after the cessation of hostilities, 
then waging between the colonies and the mother country, 
to carry into effect the provision ; guarding the same care- 
fully, however, in order that if the "experiment" should 
not prove "all the fancy painted it," the former system 
should again prevail, f 

On the date last mentioned, the legislature provided for 
the election by ballot of a governor and lieutenant-governor, 
but' retained the viva voce system for the election of repre- 
sentatives. This preliminary law remained in force until 
February 13, 1787, when the necessary legislation was bad 
to put in full operation the ballot system, which has ever 

'" Leisler. resisting Grovernor Sloughter's rights, was arrested for 
treason, condemned, and executed, 
t See Constitution, 1777. 

since obtained. By this law the sheriff received the ballot- 
boxes with the ballots, returning those for governor, lieuten- 
ant-governor, and senators to the secretary of State's office, 
where they were canvassed by a joint committee of the legis- 
lature. The ballots for assemblymen were canvassed by the 
mayor and aldermen in New York city, and by the board of 
supervisors, judges, and assistant justices of the courts of 
Common Pleas elsewhere. This system was done away with 
by an act of March 27, 1799, and local boards instituted, who 
were required to inspect and canvass the ballots, the result to 
be recorded by the town clerk, who was to return it to the 
county clerk for the same purpose, by whom it was trans- 
mitted to the secretary of State, to be by him also recorded. 
A board of State canvassers, consisting of the secretary of 
State, comptroller and treasurer, then canvasses these re- 
turns and publishes the result. By the act; of 1787 gen- 
eral elections were held on the last Tuesday of April, and 
miglit continue for five days. The inspector system, with 
some amendments, is still in force, the board of supervisors 
being the county canvassing board, and the State board 
being composed of the oflScers comprising the same under 
the law of 1797, and, in addition thereto, the attorney-gen- 
eral. State engineer, and surveyor, any three of whom form 
a quorum. The inferior civil niaiiistrates and officers under 
the Dutch had been elected, and in the articles of capitu- 
lation of 1661: it was stipulated those officers then in office 
should fill out their unexpired terms, when new incum- 
bents should be elected who should swear allegiance to the 
new power. It was expressly stipulated that the " town 
of Manhattans should choose deputyes who should have 
free voyces in all publique affairs, as much as any other 

The electors under the colonial rule were such of the in- 
habitants as were freeholders of forty pounds value, or had 
an income of forty shillings per annum, or paid a rental 
of that amount, or were freemen of the cities of New York 
and Albany. Under the first constitution, the governor, 
lieutenant-governor, and senators were chosen by freehold- 
ers, being actual residents, and possessed of freeholds of the 
value of one hundred pounds over and above all debts 
charged thereon. For members of assembly, male inhabit- 
ants who had resided within one of the counties of the 
State six months preceding the election could vote, pro- 
vided they owned within the county a freehold of twenty 
pounds, or paid a yearly rent of forty shillings, and were 
rated and actually paid taxes. By an act of April 9, 1811, 
these values were changed to corresponding sum's in the 
Federal currency, viz., two hundred and fifty dollars, fifty 
dollars, and five dollars. No discriminations were made 
against blacks and mulattoes, except that they were re- 
quired to produce authenticated certificates of freedom. 
Freemen of Albany and New York cities were entitled to 
vote for assemblymen, without the property qualification, 
provided they were such freemen of Albany at the time of 
the adoption of the constitution, and of New York, Octo- 
ber 14, 1775. The elective officers under the first consti- 
tution were those already named, and town-officers, except 
justices of the peace, all others being appointed by the gov- 
ernor and a council of appointment, which latter was com- 
posed of one senator from each district, openly nominated 



and appointed each year by the assembly, no senator being 
eligible two years successively. Nearly every civil, military, 
and judicial officer was appointed by this council. In 1821, 
eight thousand two hundred and eighty-seven military and 
six thousand six hundred and sixty-three civil officers hold 
their commissions by its authority. The council grew arbi- 
trary and abused its power, wielding it oftentimes for par- 
tisan purposes, and hence became unpopular and distasteful 
among the people, and the constitution of 1 821 abolished it 
without a dissenting voice. The journals of the council fill 
fourteen manuscript volumes in the office of secretary of 


The constitution last named vested the power of the 
council of appointment, modified and restricted, in the 
governor and senate, extended the list of elective officers 
laro-elv. and made more liberal concessions on suffrage. In 
1826 an amendment was adopted by the people, making 
the elective franchise free to all white male citizens resident 
one year in the State, regardless of property qualifications, 
the vote being 127,077 for, to 3215 against the extension, 
in the State ; and in 1845 an amendment was adopted for 
the abrogation of the property qualification for office. 

The time of holding the general elections was changed, 
under the constitution of 1821, from April to November; 
and April 5, 1842, an act was passed directing elections to 
be hold in one day, on the Tuesday succeeding the first 
Monday in November. The first constitution declared 
ministers of the gospel and priests ineligible to office, civil 
or military, in order " that they might have no hindrance 
in giving their entire attention to their sacred calling,'' and 
the constitution of 1821 continued the disability ; but the 
" cloth" are eligible now to any station the people may see 
fit to elevate them to. Under the constitution of 1821, 
the governor appointed the judicial officers, justices of the 
peace being nominated to him by the boards of supervisors, 
and county judges as under the first constitution, until 1826, 
when the latter officials were made elective. Under the 
first constitution the clerks of the courts were appointed 
by the tribunals which they served ; but in 1796 the 
office was abolished, and the county clerks made ex-officio 
clerks-of the several courts in the counties. 

Under the constitution of 1846, nearly every civil office 
was made elective, and have remained so to the present time, 
the people refusing to sanction a proposition to make the 
judges of the courts appointive in 1873. In 1869, the 
people also put the stamp of their disapprobation upon a 
proposed article in the defeated constitution of 1867, for 
qualified suffrage. 


The constitution of the United States directs that a cen- 
sus be taken every ten years, which has been fixed at those 
ending with a cipher, and after each enumeration Congress 
apportions the representation among the several States. 
Under the first constitution of New York, the apportion- 
ment for the State was as follows : 1789, ratio 30,000, 6 
representatives; April 14, 1792, ratio 33,000, 10; Janu- 
ary 14, 1802, ratio 33,000, 17; December 21, 1811, ratio 
35,000, 27. Under the constitution of 1821, the appor- 
tionment was as follows : March 7, 1822, ratio 40,000, 34 

representatives ; May 22, 1832, ratio 47,000, 40 ; Juno 25, 
1842, ratio 70,680, 34. Under the present constitution, 
the apportionment has been as follows : July 30, 1852, ratio 
93,423, 33; July 5, 1861, ratio 127,000, 31 ; 1872, ratio 
133,000, 33. 

As soon as practicable after each apportionment, the 
legislature divides the State into congressional districts. 
In the first two divisions the districts were not numbered, 
the third division, in 1797, being the first one to number 
them. By an act of March 20, 1802, Herkimer, Oneida, 
and St. Lawrence were made the 15th district. The act of 
erection made Jefferson and Lewis a part of this district; 
and April 8, 1808, Herkimer, Lewis, St. Lawrence, and 
Jefferson were made the 10th district. On June 10, 1812, 
Lewis, Jefferson, and St. Lawrence were made the 18th ; 
April 17, 1822, Oswego, Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Law- 
rence were made the 20th, and entitled to two members; 
June 29, 1832, Jefferson was made the 18th ; September 6, 
1842, Jefferson was made the 19th; and July 10,'1851, 
Jefferson and Lewis were made the 23d. In 1862, Her- 
kimer, Lewis, and Jefferson were made the 20th, and in 
1871 the last-named counties were constituted the 22d. 


giving the years when elected. 

1798— Jonas Piatt. 
1800— Benjamin Walker. 
1802 — Gaylord Griswold. 
1804 — Nathan Williams. 
1806— William Kirk Pivtrick. 
1808 — John Nicholson. 
1810— Silas Stow. 
1812-14— Moss Kent. 
1816— DayidA. Ogden. 
1818— William D. Ford. 
1820— Mioah Sterling. 
1822— Ela Collins, Egbert Ten 

1824— Nicoll Fosdiok, Egbert 

Ten Eyck. 
1826— Silas Wright, Rudolph 


1828 — Joseph Hawkins, Geo. 

1830— Daniel Wardwell, Chas. 

1832-34— Daniel Wardwell. 
1836 — Isaac H. Bronson. 
1838-40— Thos. C. Chittenden. 
1842-44— Orville Hnngerford. 
1846 — Joseph MuUin. 
1848— Charles E. Clark. 
1850— Willard Ives. 
1852— Caleb Lyon. 
1854— William A. Gilbert. 
1856-58— Charles B. Hoard. 
1860-62— Ambrose W. Clark. 
1864-68— Addison H. Laflin. 
1870-72 — Clinton L. Merriam. 
1874-76 — George A. Bagley. 


The first constitution provided that the supreme legisla- 
tive power within the State should be vested in two sep- 
arate and distinct bodies of men ; the one to be called the 
Assembly, and the other the Senate of the State of New 
York, which together form the Legislature, and should 
meet at least once in each year, for the dispatch of business. 

The first Legislature had its first meeting at Kingston, 
which began September 9, and ended October 7, 1778, dis- 
persing on the approach of the enemy. The Governor, 
Chancellor, and Judges of the Supreme court, or any two 
of them, with the governor, were constituted by the con- 
stitution a Council of Revision, to revise all bills about to 
be passed into laws by the Legislature, as well as bills al- 
ready passed ; and if such bills were found objectionable by 
the council the same were returned to the body in which 
the same originated, with the objections of the council in 
writing ; and only a two-thirds vote of the members pres- 
ent in both houses could pass the bill over the objections. 



The council was abolished by the constitution of 1821, and 
its power, modified and restricted, vested in the governor, 
which power that officer still retains. During the existence 
of the Council it returned one hundred and sixty-nine bills 
to the Legislature, with its objections, fifty-one of which 
became laws notwithstanding. 

The assembly originates all bills for appropriations of 
money, claiming that right soon after the organization of 
the government, which, though for a short time contested 
by the senate, was by that body, in November, 1778, 
tacitly surrendered, the latter body retaining the free exer- 
cise of its right to amend, modify, or reject, as it may deem 
proper. The two houses jointly, from 1777 to 1789, ap- 
pointed delegates to Congress; since 1787, regents of the 
university ; since 1789, senators in Congress ; and from 
1816 to 1844, canal commissioners. 

Under the first constitution the senate consisted of twenty- 
four members, apportioned among four great districts. After 
the first election they were divided by lot into four classes, 
so that the terms of six should expire each year. An ad- 
ditional senator should be added to each district whenever, 
by a septennial census, it was shown that the number of 
electors in the district had increased one-twenty-fourth. 
This increase was to be allowed until the number reached 
one hundred. The census of 1795 made the number 
forty-three. In 1801, the rule being found unequal in its 
operation, the constitutioii was amended so as to fix the 
number permanently at thirty-two, which has ever since 
been retained. 

The districts fixed by the constitution were the southern, 
middle, western, and eastern, the western including Albany 
and Tryon counties as its territory, and being entitled to 
six senators. In 1791 the State was re-districted, by 
which action the western district comprised the counties 
of Albany, Herkimer, Slontgomery, Ontario, Otsego, Sara- 
toga; Tioga from February 16, 1791, Onondaga from 
March 5, 1794, and Schoharie from April 6, 1795, and 
was entitled to five senators. Under the act of March 4, 
1796, the western district comprised the counties of Alle- 
gany, Herkimer, Montgomery, until 1803, Onondaga, On- 
tario, Otsego, Schoharie, Tioga, Steuben, from March 18, 
1796, Oneida from March 15, 1798, Cayuga from March 
8, 1799, St. Lawrence from March 3, 1802, Genesee from 
March 30, 1802, Seneca from March 29, 1804, Jefi'erson 
and Lewis from March 28, 1805, Madison from March 21, 
1806, Broome from March 28, 1806, Cattaraugus, Cha- 
tauqua, and Niagara from March 11, 1808, and Cortland 
from April 8, 1808,* and was entitled to eleven members 
until 1803, nine from 1803 to 1808, and twelve from 1808 
to 1815. 

Under the act of April 15, 1815, JeiFerson County 
formed a part of the eastern district, the other counties 
composing the same being Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Her- 
kimer, Lewis, Montgomery, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence, Sara- 
toga, Schenectady, Warren, Washington, and Hamilton 
from April 16, 1816, the date of its organization, and the 
district was entitled to eight senators. 

* The dates here given are the times of organization of the counties 

Under the constitution of 1821 the legislature, in joint 
session, appointed the secretary of State, comptroller, treas- 
urer, attorney-general, surveyor-general, and commissary- 
general, in addition to their former power of appointment. 
A decennial census was provided for by this constitution 
also, by which the apportionment of senators and assembly- 
men should be from time to time equalized. The appoint- 
ments of the governor and senate, during the life of the 
constitution of 1821, numbered two thousand two hundred 
and thirty-eight.' The State was divided into eight great 
senatorial districts, each of which was entitled to four sena- 
tors, one being elected each year, with official terms of four 
years. The fifth district comprised the counties of Her- 
kimer, Jefi'crson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, and Oswego 
until May 23, 1836, when Otsego was annexed and Her- 
kimer transferred. By the constitution of 1846 the coun- 
ties of Jeiferson and Lewis were constituted the twenty-first 
district, and were entitled to one senator. Under the act 
of April 13, 1857, these counties were constituted the 
eighteenth district, with the same representation, which 
constitution and representation remains unchanged at the 
present time. 

The candidates for senators previous to 1848 were elected 
on a general ticket for the entire district, but since that 
time each district has been assigned a single member. 
Under the first constitution, Jeff'erson County had but a 
single senator resident within its borders, the same being 
Perley Keyes, who was elected in 1814, and sat in the 
senate until the close of the fortieth session, which ended 
April 14, 1817. In the fifth district, from 1822 to 1847, 
the senators who resided in Jeff'erson County, and who 
were elected therefrom, were as follows: 1824-27, Perley 
Keyes ;t 1832-35, Robert Lansing; 1836-39, Micah 
Sterling; 1842-43, William Ruger; 1844-45, George C. 
Sherman. The senators of the twenty-first district have 
been as follows: 1848-49, John W. Tamblin ; 1850-51, 
Alanson Skinner; 1851, Caleb Lyon (to fill vacancy); 
1852-53, Ashley Davenport; 1854-55, Robert Lansing; 
1856-57, Gardner Towne ; 1858-59, Joseph A. Willard. 
In the fighteenth district : 1860-65, James A. Bell ; 1866- 
69, John 0. Donnell; 1870-73, Norris Winslow ; 1874-75, 
Andrew C. Middleton ; 1876-77, James F. Starbuck. 

The assembly has always been chosen annually. It con- 
sisted, at first, of seventy members, with the power to 
increase one with every seventieth increase of the number 
of electors until it contained three hundred members. 

f Perley Kkyes was born in Acworth, New Hampshire, Febru- 
ary 24, 1774. He first settled in Rutland ; but on his appointment 
as sheriff of Jeiferson County, in 1809, he removed to Watcrtown, 
where ho ever afterwards lived until his death. Notwithstanding a 
lack of early education, his native strength of mind and clearness of 
judgment gave him the confidence of the Kepublican (Democratic) 
party, of which he was an ardent supporter, and he held successively 
the offices of magistrate, judge of the county court, sheriff, collector 
of customs at Sauket's Harbor, was twice elected to the State senate, 
and held terms of four years each time (1814-17 and 1824-27), and 
was in 1816 a member of the council of appointment. He was a 
leader in his party, and was strongly recommended to President 
VanBurcn for the post of Territorial governor of Wisconsin, in 1830, 
by Silas Wright, Jr., A. C. Flagg, E. Croswell, and Governor W. L. 
Maroy, but an apoplectic stroke prevented his appointment. He 
died in Watertown, May 13, 1834.— Hough. 



When the constitution was amended in 1801 the number 
had reached one hundred and eight, when it was reduced 
to one hundred, with a provision that it should be increased 
after each septennial census, at the rate of two annually, 
until the number reached one hundred and fifty. This 
increase was twelve in 1808, and fourteen in 1815. Mem- 
bers in the several counties were elected on a general ticket. 
The constitution of 1821 fixed the number of members of 
assembly permanently at one hundred and twenty-eight, 
which number was continued by the present constitution. 
No change can be made in the representation of counties 
between the period fixed by the constitution for the appor- 
tionment based upon the census taken in years ending in 
five ; the votes in new counties, organized in the mean "time, 
being canvassed in the original counties as if no division 
had been made, until a new apportionment is made after 
another State census is taken. The constitution of 1846 
also required the boards of supervisors of the several 
counties to meet on the first Tuesday of January succeeding 
the adoption of the constitution and divide the counties 
into districts of the number apportioned to them, of con- 
venient and contiguous territory, and as nearly of equal 
population as possible. After each State census a re-appor- 
tionment is made by the legislature, and a re-districting 
of counties ordered. Pursuant to this provision, the 
boards met in January, 1847. Fulton and Hamilton 
counties were assigned one assemblyman together, and 
every other county in the State had one or more. Jeffer- 
son had three members. Fulton and Hamilton have re- 
ceived no addition to their representation since their first 
assignment. On March 31, 1802, Oneida was given four 
members, and St. Lawrence, formed of a part of its terri- 
tory, continued to be represented with it till 1805, when 
Jeff'erson and Lewis were formed from Oneida, and St. 
Lawrence taken from the representative district of Oneida 
and associated with the new counties, and three members 
assigned to the new district. On April 1, 1808, Jeff'erson 
was given two members, and so continued to be repre- 
sented until 1823, when three members were assi"-ned as 
its representation, which latter apportionment continued 
until 18G6, when the representation was reduced to two 
members, which remains unchanged at this date. 

In 1804, David CofFeen was one of the representatives 
from Oneida county, and in 1805, at the time the county 
was divided, the assemblymen were George Brayton, Joseph 
Jennings, Joseph Kirkland, and Benjamin Wright. Walter 
Martin, of Lewis county (afterward), was also returned as 
having an equal number of votes as Mr. Wright, but the 
latter was admitted to his seat November 7, 1804. 

The assemblymen from Jefferson have been as follows: 

1800.— Henry Coffeen. 

1807.— Moss Kent. 

1808. — Lewis Graves. 

1809.- Corlis Hinds, D. I. Andrus. 

1810-11.- Moss Kent, B. Bronson. 

1812.- D. I. Andrus, John Durkce. 

1813.— E. Ten Eyclf, Clark Allen. 
1814.— E. Bronson, Clark Allen. 
1815. — E. Bronson, M. Hopkins. 
18] 6.— Amos Stobbins, Abel Colo. 
1817.— A. kStcbbins, Kben. Wood. 
1818.— Abel Cole, Horatio Orvis. 

1819. — George Brown, Jr., J. Cowles. 

1820.— H. Steele, 0. McKnight. 

1821. — Amos Stebbins, R. Goodale. 

1822. — G. Andrus, J. B. Bsselstyn. 

1823-25.— Kichard Goodale, George White, John B. Esselstyn. 

1826-28.— David W. Buoklin, Daniel Wardwell, Alpbeus S. Greene. 

182!).- Jerre Carrier, Titus Ives, Fleury Keith. 

1830. — Aaron Brown, Curtis G. Brooks, Charles Orvis. 

1831.— Walter Cole, Fleury Keith, Joseph C. Budd. 

1832. — William H. Angel, Philip Maxwell, Nathan Strong. 

1833. — Jotbam Ives, John Burch, William H. Angel. 

1834.— William H. Angel, Eli West, Calvin McKnight. 

18,35. — Charles Strong, Eli Farwell, Calvin Clark. 

1836. — Lowrey Barney, Otis P. Starkcy, Richard Hulbert. 

1837. — Jotbam Bigelow, Richard Hulbert, John W. Tamblin. 

1838.— Daniel Wardwell, Richard Hulbert, John W. Tamblin. 

1839.— Calvin Clark, Charles E. Clarke, Philip Gage. 

1840. — Calvin Clark, Charles B. Clarke, Stephen Johnson. 

1841. — William C. Pierrepont, Jospph Webb, William McAlIaster. 

1812.— Elihu McNeil, Elihu C. Church, John W. Tamblin. 

1843. — Elihu C. Church, Joseph Graves, Job Lamson. 

1844.— S'amuel Bond, William Carlisle, Eli West. 

1845. — Edward S. Salisbury, Azel W. Danforth, LysanderH. Brown. 

1846. — Levi Miller, Henderson Howk, Elihu M. McNeil. 

1847 — John Boy den, John D. Davidson, Samuel J. Davis, 

Jefferson County, under the new constitution, was divi- 
ded into three assembly districts, as follows : 

The First District, comprising Watertown, Hendei-son, 
Adams, EUisburg, Lorraine, Rodman, Hounsfield, and 

The Second District, comprising Rutland, Champion, 
Wilna, Philadelphia, Antwerp, Le Ray, Theresa, and 

The Third District, comprising Brownville, Lyme, Cape 
Vincent, Clayton, Pamelia, and Orleans. The members 
under that arrangement were as follows : 


Fiiat District. 
-Benjamin Maxon. 
-George Gates. 
-John Winslow. 
-William A. Gilbert. 
-William A. Gilbert. 
-James Gifford. 
-Calvin Littlefield. 
-Calvin Littlefield. 
-Hart Massey. 
—Calvin Littlefield. 
-George Babbitt. 
-Russell Weaver. 
-Barnard D. Searles. 
-David Montague. 
-Jonathan M.Ackley 
-Clias. A. Benjamin. 
-Geo. M. Hopkinson. 
•Jas. G. Kellogg. 
-Thco. Canfield. 
-Lafay. J. Bigelow. 

Second District. 
Harvey D. Parker. 
John L. Marsh. 
Joel Haworth. 
John Pool, Jr. 
Merril Colburn. 
Dewitt C. West. 
Jesse E. Willis. 
Moses Eamcs. 
Pranklin Parker. 
Clennthus Granger. 
Elihu C. Church. 
Patrick S. Stewart. 
W. W. Taggart. 
David J. Wager. 
.George W. Hazleton. 
Levi MiUer. 
Lewis Palmer. 
Lewis Palmer. 
Nelson D. Ferguson. 
Albert D. Shaw. 

Third District. 
Fleury Keith. 
Bernard Bagcly. 
Alfred Foj. 
Lorin Bushnell. 
William Rouse. 
Charles Smith. 
William Dewey. 
Joshua Main. 
Isaac Wells. 
Abner W. Peck. 
Robert F. Austin. 
Firman Fish. 
Moses C. Jevvett. 
Harvey Bailey. 
William Dewey. 
William Dewey. 
William Dewey. 
R. B. Biddleoom. 
R. B. Biddlecom. 

* In 1857 a new apportionment and redistrieting was made, the 
representation remaining unchanged, but the districts being altered, 
Brownville was transferred from the first to the third ; Watertown 
to the second from the first; Alexandria from the second to the third; 
and Theresa from the second to the third. 

t In 1866 the representation of Jefferson County was reduced to 
two assemblymen and the county divided into two districts. The 
first one comprising the towns of Adams, Champion, EUisburg, 
Henderson, Hounsfield, Lorraine, Rodman, Rutland, Watertown, and 
Worth; the second district comprising the towns of Alexandria, 
Antwerp, Brownville, Cape Vincent, Clayton, Le Ray, Lyme, Orleans, 
Pamelia, Philadelphia, Theresa, and Wilna. These districts con- 
tinue thus limited at the present time. 



1S68. — L. J. Bigelow. Andrew Cornwall. 

1869-70.— Jny Dimiok. W. W. Butterficltl. 

1S71. — Oliver B. Wyman. James Johnson. 

1872.— Oliver B. AVyman. Wm. W. Enos. 

1873. — Elam Persons. Horatio S. Hondio. 

187+. — Elam Persons. Hugh Smith. 

1875.- Elam Persons. George E. Yost. 

1876. — Lotus Ingalls. Lansing Becker. 
1877. — Charles R. Skinner. Henry Spicer. 

1821.— Egbert Ten Eyck and Horaee Steele. 
1846.— Alpheus S. Greene, Azel Danforth, and Elihu M. McNeil. 
1867. — James A. Boll, M. II. Merwin, Marcus Bickford, and Edward 
A. Brown. 

County Clei-ks. — By appointment annually by the gover- 
nor and council before 1821, and by election since. Terms, 
three years : 

Henry Coffeen, 1805-6; Egbert Ten Eyck, 1807-10; Ben- 
jamin Skinner, 1811-12 ; Richard M. Esselstyn, 1813-14 ; 
B. Skinner, 1815-20 ; George Andrus, 1820-21 ; Henry 
H. Sherwood, 1822-24 ; Peleg Burohard, 1829^0 ; Daniel 
Lee, 1841-43; Charles B. Hoard, 1844-46; James G. 
Lynde, 1847-49 ; Isaac Munson, 1850-52 ; John L. 
Marsh, 1853-58; R. B. Biddleoom, 1859-61; Dexter 
Wilder, 1862-67; Nelson D. Ferguson, 1868-70; Jacob 
Stears, Jr., 1871-76 ; George Cole, 1877, and present 

Sheriffs (by appointment previous to 1821, and by elec- 
tion since. Terms, three years). — Abel Sherman, 1805-7 ; 
Perley Keys, 1808-11; David I. Andrus, 1812; John 
Paddock, 1813-14; David I. Andrus, 1815-17; Joseph 
Clark, 1818; Amasa Trowbridge, 1819-20; Jason Fair- 
banks, 1821-25 ; Henry H. Coffeen, 1826-28; John Fay, 
1829-31; Heman Millard, 1832-34; Chauncey Baker, 
1835-37; Abner Baker, 1838-40; Albert P. Brayton, 
1841-43; Herman Strong, 1844-46; Walter Collins, 
1847-49; Rufus Herrick, 1849-51; Daniel C. Rouse, 
1852-.54; Wells Benton, 1855-57; Abner Baker, 1858- 
60; Francis A. Cross, 1861-63 ;" Nathan Strong, 1864- 
66 ; James Johnson, 1867-69 ; Addison W. Wheelock, 
1870-72; George Babbitt, 1873-75; Abner W. Peek, 

County Treasurers (by appointment of Board of Super- 
visors till 1848, and by election since). — Benjamin Skinner^ 
1805-7; Joseph Clark, 1807-13; Wm. Smith, 1813-23; 
Marianus W. Gilbert, 1823-28 ; Jason Fairbanks, 1828- 
38 ; Tliomas Baker, 1838-40 ; Adriel Ely, 1840-42 ; John 
Sigourney, 1842-43; Wm. H. Robinson, 1843-46; Silas 
Clark, 1846-48; Wm. Smith, 1849-51; Silas Clark, 1852 
-54 ; James M. Clark, 1855-57 ; Myron Beebee, 1858- 
63 ; Benj. F. Hotchkiss, 1864-69 ; John M. Carpenter, 
1870-75 ; L. W. Tyler, 1876, and present incumbent. 

District Attorneys.— In 1796 (February 12) the office 
of Assistant Attorney-General was created for districts, the 
incumbents to be appointed by the governor and council of 
appointment, and to be in charge of the criminal business 
previously performed by the clerks of tlie court. Otsego 
and Herkimer counties were constituted one district. In 
1801 the office was abolished, and the office of district at- 
torney created in lieu thereof, with the appointment there- 
for vested in the governor. The counties of Otsego, 
Oneida, Herkimer, and Chenango were constituted one dis- 

trict, to which Jefferson County was attached by the act of 
creation. In 1808, Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence 
were constituted a separate district, and in 1818, Jefferson 
alone composed one. 

The office has been filled as follows : Nathan Williams, 
1807; S. Whittlesey, 1808; Amos Benedict, 1810; S. 
Whittlesey, 1811; Amos Benedict, 1813-14; Ela Col- 
lins, 1815; D. W. Bucklin, 1818; Horatio Shumway, 
1820; D. W. Bucklin, 1821. Under the constitution of 
1821 the attorney was appointed by the court, the succes- 
sion being: D. W. Bucklin, Robert Lansing, George C. 
Sherman, Wm. D. Ford, D. N. Burnham, Joseph Mullen, 
Robert Lansing. Under the constitution of 1847 the 
office was elective, and has been filled as follows : Joshua 
Moore, Jr., 1848-51 ; James F. Starbuck, 1852-53 ; De- 
lano C. Calvin, 1854-56; D. M. Bennett, 1857-59; Brad- 
ley Winslow, 1860-62; L. J. Bigelow, 1863-65; Bradley 
Winslow, 1866-68; Pardon C. AA'illiams, 1869-74; Wat- 
son M. Rogers, 1875-77. 

Commissioner of Insolvency. — S. Whittlesey, April 8, 

Commissioners to perform duties of Judge of Supreme 
Court.— Wm. D. Ford, 1817 ; David W. Bucklin, 1821. 

Coroners, with date of first appointment: 1804, Eleazer 
House, of Turin ; this territory extended over this county ; 
1805, Ambrose Pease, Hart Massey, Fairchild Hubbard ; 
1808, Orimel Brewster; 1809, Benjamin Poole, Jr. ; 1810, 
Nathaniel Haven; 1811, Jason Fairbanks, William War- 
ing, Andrew S. Bond; 1812, Simeon Forbes ;. 181 3, Elijah 
Fox, Henry Martin, Seth Bailey, F]zra Stearns; 1814, 
Daniel Leonard; 1815, Elijah Sheldon, Nathan Burnham ; 
1816, James Perry; 1817, Hiram Steele; 1818, Seth 
Otis, John B. Esselstyn, James Shields, Joseph Kellogg, 
John Cowles, Nathan Brown, Abijah Jenkins; 1820, Wil- 
liam Merrills; 1821, Suel Wilson, Luther Gilson, Gideon - 
S. Sacket, Eseok Lewis, Jacob C. Greene, Sylvester Smith, 
John Cliamberlain, Eleazer A Scott, Pardon Smith ; 1822, 
Alfred M: Ackley. 

Under the late and present constitution coroners have 
been elected, but we have not been able to procure the 
names of those between 1822 and 1828. 

Azariah Walton, Alfred M. Ackley, William Wood, 
Abijah Jenkins, in 1828 ; A. Jenkins, Archibald Fisher, 
James McKenzie, Elijah Fields, in 1831 ; Luther G. Hoyt, 
E. Fields, Mahlon P. Jackson, in 1834 ; Truman S. Angel, 
E. Fields, Jotham Bigelow, Ebenezer Sabin, in 1837 ; 
Henry D. Caldwell (did not qualify), Asahel Smith, Liberty 
CominSjSamuelW. Vincent, James G. Lynde, in 1841 ; Arba 
Strong, Jedediah McCumber, Pearson Mundy, in 1843; 
Samuel W. Gilbert, in 1844 ; Samuel J. Davis, in 1845 ; 
James White, Thomas Benjamin, Jacob Cramer, John W. 
Fuller, in 1846 ; Andrew Cornwell, in 1847 ; Abraham 
Schuyler, Thomas Benjamin, Horace P. Mitchell, in 1849 ; 
Jesse Davis, in 1850 ; A. Schuyler, Aaron Eddy, Patrick 
Keen, in 1852; Lyman E. Hungerford, in 1853; Ambrose 
H. Huntington, 1854 ; Loren Bushnell, Nathaniel Inger- 
son, Walter Failing, 1855 ; Wm. D. Lewis, Peter 0. Wil- 
liams, 1856; Rinaldo M. Bingham, 1857; Rinaldo M. 
Bingham, Jesse Davis, James A. Bell, 1858 ; Loren Bush- 
nell, Wm. D. Lewis, 1859; Robert G. Angel, Valentine 



Parker, ISOl ; J. B. Tamblin, Robert G. Angel, 1864 ; 
Anson Gr. Thompson, Orrin F. Saunders, 1865; Orrin W. 
Smith, Addison W. Goodale, Anson G. Thompson, Orrin 
P. Saunders, 1868; Orrin W. Smith, 1870; P. B. A. 
Lewis, 1870-7-4; Eugene H. Chapman, 1870-72; Henry 
W. Jewett, 1870-75; Joseph Thibault, 1871-72; Perry 
Caswell, 1872-75; S. D. Lord, 1873 and 1876-77; Geo. 
N. Hubbard, 1874-77 ; L. B. Phillips, 1875-77 ; Jacob 
Snell, 1876-77. 

Loan Commissioners. — 1808, Gershom Tuttle, Amos 
Stebbins; 1810, Henry H. Sherwood, in place of Stebbins ; 
1818, Daniel Eames, in place of Tuttle ; 1822, Seth Otis, in 
place of Eames ; 1829, Curtis G. Crooks, in place of Sher- 
wood ; 1835, Joseph Graves, in place of Brooks; 1839, 
Daniel Eames, in place of Otis ; 1840, Albert P. Lewis, in 
place of Graves ; 1843, Joel Woodworth, in place of Lewis ; 
Martin L. Graves, in place of Eames. M. L. Graves and 
Joel Woodworth were commissioners when this fund was 
consolidated with the United States deposit fund in 1850. 
(/nited States Deposit Fund. — April 28, 1837, Jason 
Marsh, John Maoomber ; February 28, 1840, Edward B. 
Hawes, in place of Marsh ; January 12, 1841, Oliver Child, 
in place of Macomber ; April 4, 1843, Moses Brown, in 
place of Child; Rufus H. King, in place of Hawes; 
February 29, 1848, Nathan Ingerson, in place of Brown ; 
Wells Benton, in place of King; February 28, 1852, Phi- 
lander Smith, in place of Benton ; Solon Massey, in place 
of Ingerson; 1857-60, Joseph Fagel, John C. Cooper; 
1861-63, J. E. Willis, A. C. Moffatt ; 1864-66, A. C. Mof- 
fatt, E. J. Marsh; 1866-68, E. D. Allen, D. M. Hall; 
1869-73, Carlton C. Moore, Hiram Converse; 1874-77, 
Hiram Converse, Henry Bailey. 

Excise Commissioners (by appointment of county judge 
and justices of peace under the law of 1857).— 1859-64, 
John Winslow, Seth Strickland, Jack Putnam; 1865-71, 
C. A. Benjamin in place of Strickland; 1868-71, John L. 
Hotchkiss in place of Winslow ; 1870-71, B. K. Hawes 
in place of Putnam. The oiBce was abolished in 1871. 

School Commissioners. — Under the act of 1840, the 
board of supervisors of Jefferson County appointed two 
commissioners of schools in November, 1841, Ira May- 
hew and Henry D. Sewell. In 1842, Lysander H. Brown 
was appointed in place of Mr. Sewell, and in 1843 Porter 
Montgomery succeeded Mr. Mayhew. This year the county 
was divided into two districts, and Mr. Brown had charge 
of the northern one, and Mr. Montgomery the southern. 
In 1844 this division was abolished, and Mr. Montgomery 
put in charge of the whole county. In 1845 Et-win S. 
Barnes was appointed, and held the position until the office 
was abolished in 1848. In 1857 the commissioners were 
elected, and since then have been as follows ; 1858-60, 
Henry H. Smith, Lafayette Lytle, J. Ferdinand Dayan ; 
1861-63, Henry H. Smith, Jedediah Winslow, William 
Hawes; 1864-66, George A. Ramsey, Samuel D. Barr, 
George H. Strough ; 1866, Joseph M. Beaman ; 1867-69,' 
Alonzo E. Cooley, Joseph M. Beaman, Charles A. Kelsey \ 
1870-72, Alphonso E. Cooley, Bennett P. Brown. Horace 
E. Morse; 1873-75, Willard C. Porter, Henry Purcell, 
George H. Strough ; 1870-78, W. H, Sias, Ambrose E.' 
Sawyer, Don A. Watson. 

The Judges of the courts are enumerated in connection 
with those tribunals, and the chairmen and clerks of the 
board of supervisors are named in connection with that 

Beside the officers named in the foregoing list, the citi- 
zens of Jefferson have honorably filled national and State 
offices as follows: Presidential Electors — 1816, Eliphalet 
Edmonds, by appointment of Legislature ; 1828, Jesse 
Smith ; 1832, Ebenezer Wood ; 1836, Orville Hunger- 
ford ;* 1840, Elbridge G. Merrick ; 1844, Azariah Doane; 
1848, John Bradley; 1860, Hiram Dewey; 1864, John 
Clarke ; 1868, De Witt C. West ; Henry Spencer, 1876. 
Lieutenant-Governor, Allen C. Beach, 1870-73. Council 
of Appointment, Perley Keyes, 1816. State's Prison In- 
spector, James K. Bates, 1860. Auditor in Canal De- 
partment, James A. Bell, 1870. Private Secretary to 
Governor, Beman Brockway, 1865. 



The Bar — Tbe Medical Profession — Educational: Academies, Public 
Schools, Libraries — Religious. 


In an act relating to attorneys, passed in 1787, it was 
declared that none should be admitted to the practice of the 
profession in the courts of the State but " such as have 
been brought up in the court he applies to, or are otherwise 
well practiced in soliciting causes, and have been found by 
the discharge of their duties to be skillful, and of honest 
disposition." In 1846, the Court of Appeals was given the 
power to establish rules of admission to the practice of the 
profession in the State courts, and access thereto was made 
comparatively an easy matter, and many throughout the 
State entered on an honoiable profession whose subsequent 

«■ Orville HujfGERFonD was born in Farmington, October 29, 1790. 
Ho settled in Watertown in 1S04, and commenced a clerkship with 
Judge Jabez Foster in the latter's store in Burrville, and in 1807 or 
1808 removed with him to Watertown, where they engaged in mer- 
cantile business as partners. During the War of 1812-15 the Srin 
was extensively engaged as contractors for supplies for the army of 
Sackefs Harbor. In 1815 Mr. Hungorford began trade by himself, 
and continued therein until 1842. In the latter year he was elected 
to Congress, and represented the 19th district in that body four years. 
In 1847 he was nominated for comptroller by the Democratic party, 
but was defeated by Millard Fillmore, the vote standing thus: 
Jeflferson County, State 

^.?'' ?;-,^^"';?^I*'''' ^'"■'•^ F'"- 0- Hungerf.rd 136,017 

Millard Fillmore 3893 " Millard Fillmore 174,756 

Lewis Tappan 489 '• Lewis Tappan 10,408 

While in Congress he was appointed at the first session of his Srst 
term on the Committees of Revolutionary Pensions and on Accounts, 
and the business tact and ability which he displayed raised him high 
in the estimation of his associates, and at the next session he was 
placed on the most important committee of the House,— that of Ways 
nnd Means,-.where ho fully sustained the reputation ho had acquired, 
that of a thorough business man. He was the first President of the 
Rome and Cape Vincent Railroad, in the promotion of which he 
labored with a zeal and energy that knew no weariness or discourage- 
ment, and died while holding the position, April 6, 1851, after an 
illness of but twelve days. — Hough. 



career has not been remarkably brilliant ; but notwithstand- 
ing this fact, so many attorneys of national repute and ac- 
knowledged ability have been and are numbered in the 
annals of the bar of the State, its fame is imperishable ; and 
the JeiFerson County bar has contributed no little to the 
honorable record. 

The following list of resident attorneys of Jefferson 
County has been compiled from the records of the courts of 
the county where their names appear, more or less fre- 
quently, in the conduct of cases before the several tribunals 
of the Common Pleas, Oyer and Terminer, General Ses- 
sions, and County Circuit and Supreme Courts, and which 
list has been revised by two eminent practitioners of the 
early days of the county, as well as of its latter ones. 
The dates prefixed are the dates of the first appearance of 
the attorney named in the courts of the county, and the 
name of the town given was, or is, the place of residence 
of the person named. 

Watertown. — 1807, S. Whittlesey, Amos Benedict, B. 
Skinner, S. C. Kennedy, Moss Kent; 1808. Micah Ster- 
ling ; 1809, Wm. Brown ; 1811, D. W. Bucklin, D. Perry, 
J. M. Canfield, Egbert Ten Eyck ; 1816, Charles E. 
Clarke, Thomas C. Chittenden, Harlowe Emerson ; 1820, 
W. H. Shumway; 1821, Wm. D. Ford, Robert Lansing; 
1822, A. Loomis, Geo. C. Sherman ; 1825, Isaac G. Bron- 
son, John Clarke; 1829, Bernard Bagley ; 1830, W. 
Smith; 1831, Wm. A. Greene, E. Dodge; 1835, J. W. 
Tamblin ; 1836, Wm. A. Ruger, C. Mason, S. G. Watson ; 
1838, A. W. Watson, J. Mullen ; 1840, F. W. Hubbard, 
W. C. Thompson, Wooster Sherman; 1841, Randolph 
Barnes, W. H. Green, E. W. Williams, Charles D. Wright ; 
1842, J. Moore, Jr.; 1843, W. W. Sherman, D. M. 
Bennett, N. P. Wardwell, J. H. Button ; 1844, Luther J. 
Dorwin ; 1846, Lysander H. Brown, J. F. Hutchinson ; 
1847, Levi H. Brown, G. M. Bucklin, James F. Star- 
buck, James R. A. Perkins; 1848, John S. Newcomb, 

A. Wilson, S. J. Hubbard, E. B. Wynn ; 1849, L. H. 
Ainsworth, W. F. Porter, Lotus Ingalls ; 1850, D. C. 
Calvin, Geo. A. Bagley; 1852, E. Q. Sewall ; 1853, A. 

C. Beach; 1854, M. H. Merwin, Fred. Emerson, Wm. 

B. Farwell ; 1855, O. H. Sherman, John Lansing; 1856, 
Bradley Winslow, M. G-. Warrington ; 1857, A. H. Saw- 
yer, Joseph Spratt; 1858, W. N. Sherman, Milton Bal- 
lard, L. J. Bigelow, Brockway, N. Whiting, Isaac 

Munson; 1859, Fred. Lansing, Jr., Jesse T. Reynolds, 
J. W. Gilbert; 1860, C. T. Hammond, Anson B. Moore, 
A. D. Sternberg, Chas. A. Sherman, S. D. Barr, H. A. 
Gates, M. J. Connelly, Chas. H. Kelsey ; 1861, C. H. 
Watts, Stephen Strong, S. H. Hammond, John C. McCar- 
tin; 1862, W. W. Taggart, D. 0. Brien ; 1864, Allan 
McGregor, John Cosgrove, Ross C. Scott, P. C. Wil- 
liams ; 1865, Francis N. Fitch; 1866, Edgar North; 

1870, 0. G. Walrath, W. M. Rogers, Walter S. Lamb; 

1871, Joseph Mullen, Jr., H. S. Gipson ; 1872, H. W. 
Congdon, E. C. Dorwin, W. H. Hotchkin, B. C. Emerson, 
Andrew J. Moore; 1873, Thomas F. Kearnes; 1875, 
Hannibal Smith, F. H. Remington, George W. Moak ; 
1876, W. B. Brecn, Henry C. Cook, Henry Purcell, 

D. G. Griffin, John W. Hogan, C. W. Hubbard, Frederick 
D. Sherman ; 1877, George S. Hooker, Wilbur A. Porter, 

S. S. Trowbridge ; date not given, Henry A. Munson, S. 
R. Pratt. 

Adams. — 1807, Lyman Munson, Thomas Skinner; 
1811, B. Wright; 1816, J. P. Rossiter; 1827, Calvin 
Skinner; 1831, S. Osgood; 1836, S. Crittenden; 1846, 
0. Bushnell ; 1849, E. J. Marsh ; 1850, Alonzo Maxson ; 
1851, E. A. Brown, Thomas P. Saunders; 1855, G. L. 
Brown, H. C. Chittenden; 1856, Theo. Hawley, 0. W. 
Skinner, N. Vickery ; 1859, P. C. Maxson ; 1860, Parley 
Brown, Theo. C. Chittenden, 2d; 1861, Wm. H. Brown, 
A. J. Brown; 1862, A. E. Cooley ; 1870, E. F. Rams- 
dell; 1872, G. B. B. Whipple; 1876, Thomas H. Breen ; 
date not given, L. L. Hunt, Jr. 

Brownvme.— 1807, Thomas Y.How; 1818, N. Rath- 
burn ; 1835, Y. H. Howe; 1838, W. W. Wager; 1848, 
De Witt C. Priest; 1850, Silas A. Webb ; 1862, Geo. W. 

Sacket's ffarhor.— 1807, Elisha Camp; 1816, Justin 
Butterfield, A. Holton ; 1820, Elisha Smith Lee; 1821, 
Jno. McCarty ; 1822, 1. Steele ; 1829, M. K. Stow ; 1836, 
D. N. Burnham; 1838, Aug. Ford; 1840, G. H. Camp; 
1841, A. Z. McCarty; 1845, E. W. Lewis; 1848, J. Van 
Vleok ; 1860, Oliver Bobbins, S. C. Green. 

Henderson. — A. M. Leffingwell. 

ElUshurg. — 181&, S. Wardwell, Daniel Wardwell; 
1830, J. W. Bishop; 1840, H. Aokley ; 1849, W. L. 
Bishop; 1857, Eli Overton; 1860, A. A.Wheeler; 1864, 
R. R. Tousley. 

C'/rfAaye.— 1842, H. Carpenter; 1844, M. Bickford ; 
1845, L. J. Goodale, Chas. Edwards; 1849, Thos. S. 
Hammond, A. B. Gilbert; 1855, Geo. Gilbert; 1859, 
A. H. Francis; 1860, S. J. Pratt, 0. F. Atwood, J. B. 
Emmes; 1863, Henry J. Welch; 1865, William BI. 
Forbes; 1870, Jno. C. Fulton; 1872, A. E. Kilby, 
Chas. H. Kimball, Jr.; 1873, H. C. Cook; date not 
given, Gaines M. Allen. 

Champion. — 1810, Alfred Lathrop. 

Rodm:an.— 1822, Benajah B. Phelps; 1829, 

Strong ; 1845, R. S. Hunt. 

Belleville.— 1836, E- B. Hawes ; 1860, M. A. Hack- 
ley; 1870, H. C. Hawes. 

^ntoe)-;^.— 1841, Eli Cook; 1849, P. D. Foster; 1857, 

Gillett; 1860, R. W. Keene ; 1861, J. F. Cook; 

1874, J. C. Trolan. 

Le Jiay.— 1862, Wm. S. Phelps; 1864, Julius D. 

Philadelphia.— 18U, D. J. Wager. 

Evan's Mills.— 18^'!, Allen Nims; 1649, J. Boyer ; 
1862, Wm. B. Beckwith. 

Oxbow.— 184:%, E. Fowler; 1860, M. V. Brainard. 

Clayton. — 1855, A. E. Morse; 1862, J. C. Johnson; 
date not given, N. G. Hickok, F. T. Evans. 

Theresa.— 18b6, David Bearup, E. R. Keene; 1876, 
C. W. Thompson. 

Cape Vincent. — 1861, Morris E. Lee; date not given, 
E. D. Hilts. 

Lafargeville.— 18^2, Wayland Ford. 

Redwood.— 1862, A. Harder; 1870, Don A. Watson. 

The Jefferson Bar has furnished from its members offi- 
cials for the nation and the State, who have reflected honor 



upon the profession, as well as the people whom they rep- 
resented, by the distinguished ability they have brought to 
the discharge of their trusts. Kent, Sterling, Ten P]yek, 
Daniel Wardwell, Brouson, Thomas C. Chittenden, Mullen, 
Charles E. Clarke, and Geo. A. Bagley have served in the 
lower house of Congress ; Beach, as lieutenant-governor ; 
Robert Lansing, Ruger, Geo. C. Sherman, Tamblin, and 
Starbuck as State senators ; Mullen, Hubbard, and Mer- 
win on the Supreme bench, and Robert Lansing, W. C. 
Thompson, Chas. D. Wright, and Sawyer on the bench of 
the county; while others have filled positions of lesser note 
with equal honor in the discharge of their official duties. 

On February 26, 1834, the judges of the county courts, 
the officers of those courts, the members of the bar and 
students-at-law, met in the court-house and organized them- 
selves into a temperance society and chose the following 
officers : Hon. John Macomber, president ; B. Wright, 
first vice-president ; Zeno Allen, second vice-president ; 
Peleg Burchard, secretary ; I. Steele, T. C. Chittenden, 
and J. Butterfield, executive committee. The greater 
portion of the persons present signed the pledge. 

Other attorneys of note in the State have practiced in 
the early courts, who never resided in the county, whose 
names are not given in connection herewith. 

The practice of physic and surgery was first regulated by 
law in the city of New York by an act of the colonial as- 
sembly, passed June 10, 1760, and by the State, by an 
act of March 27, 1792. The first general regulation 
adopted for the State at large was the act of March 13, 
1797, authorizing the chancellor, a judge of the supreme 
or common pleas courts, or a master in chancery, to license 
physicians and surgeons, on proper evidence of havinsr 
studied medicine two years; and the former act was re- 
pealed. In 1801 and 1803 amendments were made to the 
act of 1797, and in 1806 an act was passed establishing a 
State Medical Society and medical societies for the counties, 
and repealing all former acts touching the medical practice. 


was formed December 17, 1806. John Durkee, Isaac Ma- 
goon, David B. Ripley, Isaiah Massey, Jabez Kingsbury, 
Benjamin Farley, James D. Seisco, Ozias H. Rawson, Daniel 
Barney, -Eli Eastman, H. Wilcox, Elias Skinner, and Hugh 
Henderson were present, and united in the organization. 
The first officers were : John Durkee, president ; Daniel 
Barney, vice-president; Hugh Hender.-on, secretary; Isaiah 
Massey, treasurer ; Benjamin Farlie, Eli Eastman, and Hugh 
Henderson, censors ; H. Henderson, delegate to the State 

August 11, 1807, a committee was appointed to inquire 
whether any unauthorized persons were practicing medicine, 
and to prosecute them if so. July 4, 1809, a committee 
of six was appointed to report the number of quacks and 
unlicensed physicians. On the 13lh of jMarch, 1810, they 
reported nineteen names. A code of medical ethics was 
published by the society in 1829. At the July session, in 
1830, a central committee of five, and one from each town, 
was appointed to take a medical topographical survey of 

the county ; but this measure was not carried into effect. 
During many years it was the custom of the society to offer 
prizes for essays on given subjects. The last meeting of the 
society, under its original organization, was held in 1849 or 
1850 ; but the records having been destroyed by the great 
fire of 1849, in Watortown, the exact date cannot now be 
ascertained. Dr. J. Mortimer Crawe, of Watertown, in an 
address delivered before the society January 4, 1876, as its 
retiring president, gave as the reasons for the disbanding 
of the society the inconvenience and difficulty consequent 
upon the efforts to attend its meetings by the members, 
disgust at the removal of legislative restrictions previously 
thrown around the practice of medicine, and some other 
minor considerations. The doctor administers a kindly 
rebuke to the craft for their surrender in the face of the 

Two decades elapsed without the operations of a medical 
society in the county. In 1868, August 15, Dr. F. B. A. 
Lewis and Dr. H. G. P. Spencer called a meeting of phy- 
sicians at the American hotel in Watertown, which call 
was also signed by fifteen other physicians, at which the 
following-named were present : Drs. H. G. P. Spencer, 
Wm. R. Trowbridge, James K. Bates, J. Mortimer Crawe, 
F. B. A. Lewis, H. S. Hendee, James T. Peeden, Geo. N. 
Hubbard, Truman Tuttle, and E. G. Derby. The society 
was reorganized, and the following officers chosen : Presi- 
dent, H. G, P. Spencer ; Vice-President, H. S. Hendee; 
Secretary, F. B. A. Lewis ; Treasurer, W. R. Trowbridge. 
A constitution and by-laws and a fee-bill were subsequently 
prepared and adopted, and the society has since that date 
maintained its high position among the institutions of the 
county, meeting in regular session annually, at which able 
addresses have been made by prominent members of the 
profession. In 1870, the essay was by the retiring presi- 
dent of the society, on "Dipluheria." In 1871, Dr. Peeden, 
the retiring president, addressed the society on " The Med- 
ical Profession," and at the semi-annual meeting of that 
year Dr. W. C. Bailey's address was on " Sleep." The 
addresses since have been as follows, the retiring president 
delivering the same at the annual meeting, and the vice- 
president at the semi-annual meeting : ] 872, Dr. Ira H. 
Abell, president, " Standing of tlie Medical Profession ;" 
also, an essay by Dr. Pratt; subject, "Diagnosis." Vice- 
president Geo. N. Hubbard ; subject, " Epidemic Cerebro- 
spinal Meningitis." 1873, President H. W. Jewett, 
" Medical Associations ;" and an essay on " Criminal Abor- 
tions," by Dr. C. M. Johnson, 1874. At the annual meet- 
ing Dr. Peeden's essay was on " Gastritis." At the semi- 
annual meeting the vice-president's (Dr. J. M. Crawe) essay 
was on " Sporadic Dysentery." In 1875 the essays cov- 
ered " Blisters," " Face Presentations," " Electricity as a 
Therapeutic Agent," and the " Ophthalmoscope," and were 
read by Drs. Strector, Spencer, and others. In 1876, Dr. 
Crawe, as before mentioned, delivered his address as the 
retiring president, in which he recorded the history of the 
society, from which much of the infoi'mation given in this 
present record is drawn. The officers of the society for 
1877 were Dr. W. P. Massey, president, and Dr. C. W. Bur- 
dick, secretary. 

By the destruction of the records of the society in 1849 



by fire, it is made nearly, if not quite, impossible to gather 
a complete list of the members of the society previous to 
that date; but such as Dr. Crawe was enabled to obtain, by 
diligent inquiry and untiring effort, are here given, with 
the date of their admission : 

1806. — John Durkee, Isaac Magoon, David B. Ripley, 
Isaiah Massey, Jabez Kingsbury, Benjamin Farlie, James 
D. Seisco, Ozias H. Rawson, Daniel Barney, Eli Eastman, 
H. Wilcox, Elias Skinner, Hugh Henderson (died in 1808). 

1807. — Joshua Bealls, Jr., William Baker, Daniel 
Braiuard, Joel Dresser, Joseph Green, Horatio Orvis, Abel 
Sherman, Eli West, Isaac Weston. 

1808.— Elisha Blathews, Henry H. Sherwood. 

1809. — Paul Hutchinson, Amasa Trowbridge. 

1810. — Joshua J. Barrett, Nathan Cheever, John M. 
Henderson, Russell Steel, Isaac S. Wood. 

1811. — Joseph Clary, John Cowen, Amasa Howe, John 
Spafford, Noah Tubbs. 

1812. — Isaac Olney, William Robinson. 

1813. — Reuben Goodale. 

1814.— C. T. Kimball, Frederick P. Markham. 

1815.— E. Button (Denton?). 

1816.— S. Houghton, J. Marsh. 

1817.— Wm. H. Buchanan, Alfred Eli, Alpheus S. 
Green, Samuel Randall. 

1818. — John M. Burton, Benjamin Cushman,- Alpheus 
Morse, Jonathan Sherwood. 

1819. — Joseph N. Clark, Nelson, Amos Page, B. 

L. M. Davis. 

1820. — Oliver Brewster, Ralph Rogers, Ira A. Smith, 
"Rufus S. Waite. 

1821. — Joseph Bagg, James A. Wells. 

1822. — James Brooks, Ithamar B. Crawe, Curtis Haven. 

1823.— Ephraim Adams, Walter Webb. 

1824.— Wm. J. Bates. 

1826.— Lowrey Barney, Wm. J. Fisk, Hiram Mills, 
Charles Orvis, Caleb Woodward. 

1827.— R. Kinney, Carrier. 

1828.— E. M. Adams, Abner Denton, H. W. Bushnell, 
Caleb Cook, 0. W. Cushman, John D. Davison, Foster 
Dexter, David Dickerson, Peletiah Dwight, Elkanah French, 
A. W. Gray, H. H. Hills, Isaac Jenks, J. Jones, Converse 
Johnson, John R. Johnson, D. S. Kimball, Philip Max- 
well, Almond Pitcher, Caleb Preston, G. S. Saoket, Wm, - 
J. Sikes, Gordon P. Spencer, Samuel Tucker, Samuel 
Wetmore, Ira Wright. 

1829. — Jesse Ayres, La Mont Bagg, James K. Bates, 
C. Barge, Richard Clark, Henry J. Munson, Alva Murdock. 

1830. — Stephen Seymour, George Green. 

1831. — Jonathan Ellis, Samuel J. Gaines, S. W. Hunt, 
Aaron Sumner. 

1833.— Wm. H. Wiser. 

1834. — Isaac Munson. 

1835.— Chas. W. Eastman, Wm. A. Wood. 

1836. — Abraham Hawn, H. I. Dickenson. 

1837. — Kilborn Hannahs. 

1838.— Walter Dewey. 

1839.— Amos Ellis, Amasa Trowbridge, Jr. (died 1841). 

1841.— Wm. H. H. Davis, Charles Goodale, S. W. Soule. 

1842.— Benjamin Walton. 

1843.— W. G. Comstock, Wm. V. V. Rosa, Wm. E. 
Tyler, A. M. Van Ostrand, Leonard Powers. 

1846.— Wm. R. Trowbridge, E. R. Maxson. 

1848.— Simon Goodell. 

Members of the reorganized society, other than those 
who were members of the old society : 

1868.— H. G. P. Spencer, J. Mortimer Crawe, F. B. A. 
Lewis, H. S. Hendee, James P. Peeden, George N. Hub- 
bard, Truman Tuttle (deceased), E. G. Derby (1847). 

1869.— H. M. Stevens, Frederick Bott, Ira H. Abell, 
E. A. Chapman, L. E. Frame, Charles Parker, Alonzo H. 
Gordinier, C. M. Johnson, Robert Clink, La Fayette Mason, 
H. W. Jewett. 

1870.— Nathan M. Davidson, George G. Sabin, Parley 
H. Johnson, Anson S. Thompson, Ezra B. Pratt, E. S. 
Carlisle, Solomon V. Frame, Henry W. Streeter, Wm. P. 
Massey, William C. Bailey, Martin J. Hutchins, Charles A. 
Catlin, James D. Spencer, Emerson G. Seymour. 

1871. — Lewis C. Watson, Amos Ellis. 

1872.— A. A. Getman, J. H. Miller. 

1873.— E. G. Howland, James E. Kelsey, N. 0. Bemis, 
G. G. Whitaker. 

1874. — J. K. Sturtevant, D. E. Pierce, John Grafton, 
E. Sill, J. Aldrich Wood, D. A. Gleason, Geo. Seymour, 
A. B. Stearns, M. L. Overton, J. T. Millard. 

1875.— A. K. Hale, A. R. Rudd, Chas. Douglass, Z. K. 
Babcock, C. W. Burdick, L. E. Jones, H. S. Lane, W. T. 
Burdick, K. Hannahs. 

1876.— S. B. Merrill, John Pearce, Dr. John Muir, Dr. 
Goodwin, Thos. Masson, S. L. Parmelee, N. D. Ferguson, 
Lois Mansfield. 

1877.— Wm. E. Tyler, J. H. Tamblin, H. H. Deane, H. 

A. Mcllmoyl, C. D. Potter, Benedict, S. E. Ballard, 

J.' Daab, Charles F. Wright. 

Besides these physicians named as members of the medi- 
cal society, others have practiced in the county, as follows: 

Antwerp. — Dr. William Robinson, 1852 ; Dr. J. S. Con- 
key, 1842, and moved to Canton, St. Lawrence county ; 
Dr. R. R. Sherman, 1848. 

Sachet's Harbor.— Bi. R. P. Hayes, 1817 ; Dr. Samuel 
Guthrie, 1816-18, died October, 1848. 

Theresa. — Dr. James Davison, Dr. James B. Carpenter, 
1812, and later in Philadelphia, Dr. Rexford Davison, Dr. 
Lucius Hannahs, died in 1876. 

Philadelphia. — Dr. Coan, A. Welch, 0. S. Copeland, V. 

B. Ayres, 1862; Dr. A. I. Ooo, 1864; Dr. E. W. Trow- 
bridge, Dr. R. A. Stevens. 

Carthage. — Dr. Benjamin S. Budd, 1821, and still in 
practice; Dr. J. H. Copp, 1863, at Natural Bridge. 

Champion.— I>r. G. D. Hewitt, 1865 ; Dr. R. J. Dar- 
ragh, 1877. 

Belleville.—^. Wright Frame, M.D., 1875. 

Depanville. — Dr. Wm. Frame, 1822^7 (deceased). 

Cape Vincent. — Drs. Martin Braun, A. S. Smith, and 
Philip Colo, at present in practice in that town. 

La Fargeville. — Doctors Boalt and William Potter, Dr. 
Reuben Andius, 1819. 

riessis.—T)r. Dunton, 1830. 

Alexandria Bay. — Dr. Charles Walton, Dr. A. 0. Blair, 
1832 to 1838. 



^cZams.— Dr. Walter Welch, before 18.33; Dr. Brownell. 

Rodman.— Dis. Woodman and Potter; and Dr. Peck, at 
Zoar ; also Dr. William Christie. 

Lorraine. — Drs. Hathaway and Nugent. 

Sm.ithville.—I>i-s. Lord, Breed, and Piersons ; the latter 
now resident there. 


The practitioners of the Hahnemann system of medi- 
cine have been, as far as has been ascertained in the county, 
as follows : Dr. U. S. Dunning was the first physician of 
this school to locate in the county, and he came in 1843 
to Watertown, and connected with his practice as a dentist 
that also of a physician. He remained some five or six years, 
when he removed to California, and after a few years' resi- 
dence in that State and in Oregon, he returned to the 
county and located in Adams, where he died. Dr. C. E. 
Boice came next to Watertown, and is now in Auburn. Dr. 
George W. Foote came next, and stayed two or three years, 
and then Dr. Bailey, who was in practice for several years. 
Dr. W. A. Hawley, now of Syracuse, was in practice also 
in Watertown for four or five years. Dr. S. C. Knicker- 
bocker came from New York in 1861, and is still in practice, 
in company with Dr. W. T. Laird, who came to the city 
in 1872. Dr. Ira V. Dagget came also in 1872, and Dr. 
Alfred G. Cole in 1877, and is now in practice in the city. 
Dr. J. W. Brown, of Carthage, 1869 ;* Dr. 6. H. Wood, 
of Antwerp, 1877.t Dr. Waldo located in Adams, 1863, 
and Dr. JI. W. Gallup in 1875, and resides there at the 
present writing. 


Dr. Alanson P. Hale, now of Adams, was the earliest 
practitioner of this school in the county, locating at Adams 
in 1835. Dr. Weeden Mosher practiced also after this 
system, or the botanic, in Philadelphia, quite early. Dr. 
C. Heath is now a resident physician of the latter place. 

For further details concerning the medical profession, see 
the several town and village histories. 


Those dentists who have practiced their profession in 
Jefferson County are as follows, with the date of their lo- 
cation therein : 

Dr. Spalding, 1840 ; Dr. E. B. Wells, 1843 (died in 
Oneida county); Dr. U. S. Dunning, 1843 (died in 
Adams) ; Dr. S. M. Robinson, 1846, in Watertown, and 
still practices there; Dr. E. A. Holbrook, 1853, in Water- 
town, and still in practice; Dr. C. F. Ives, 1857; Dr. 
James Ketchum and Dr. Van Valkenburgh, 1848 ; the 
former is deceased and the latter is in Camden ; Dr. T. N.- 
Fo.'ter, 1854; Dr. J. D. Huntington, 1862, and still in 
practice in Watertown ; Dr. Henry Smith and Dr. A. M. 
Butler, 1860 ; they were in Watertown a short time only ; 
Dr. E. L. Sargent, 1864 ; Dr. J. P. Dunn, 1875 ; Dr. W. 
E. Dunn, 1876; Dr. A. D. Payne, 1877. The four last 
named are in practice at the present time in Watertown. 
Dr. H. A. Coe came to Theresa in 1850, and after practicing 
several years died in Georgia in 1874, being succeeded by 

* See history of town of Wilna. 

t See Antwerp. 

his son, George H. Coe, in his practice. Dr. A. Bain lo- 
cated in Clayton in 1871, and Dr. E. A. Monroe in Car- 
that'e 1864; Dr. Blandon located at Belleville, Dr. Bailey 
at Mannsville, and Dr. George H. Latham at Antwerp, 
the latter in 1870 ; Dr. Manville located in Adams in 
1861-62, and Dr. R. T. Kirkland later ; Dr. C. W. Bullard, 
of Carthage, located in Antwerp, 1870, and in present place 
of residence, 1876. 

Dr. Hou"-h says : " The diseases which have occurred in 
our county can scarcely be said to offer any peculiarity 
worthy of remark. Few sections are more generally 
healthy, or less exposed to local causes of disease. The 
sickness of 1798 and that of 1828 have been noticed on 
preceding pages. The lake and river shore, and the bor- 
ders of Perch and Indian rivers, have been in some dry 
seasons subject to intermittent fevers ; but less now than 

" The vicinity of Natural Bridge, in Wilna, is thought to 
present endemic causes of bronchocele, a malady somewhat 
common there. 

" The spring of 1813 was remarkable for the prevalence 
of an e'pidemio, pnevmonia typhoides, which, having pre- 
vailed in the eastern portions of the Union during the 
previous winter, first appeared in the county about the 8th 
of March, and raged with great severity till the 1st of May. 
Some idea of its prevalence may be judged from the ex- 
perience of a single physician,^ who, in the ordinary limits 
of his practice, met in that period with three hundred and 
thirty cases, of which thirteen were fatal. Its appearance 
was a little earlier in Lewis county, and later at Watertown 
than at Rutland. The attack was generally sudden, and 
the fate of the patient was often decided within a few 
hours. In about one-third of the cases the disease attacked 
the head, and in the remainder the lungs. It was epidemic, 
but not contagious, and in its course it spread over a wide 
extent of country. No exemptions of age. sex, or condition 
were noticed. Other epidemics of less fatality have been 
observed, but statistics are wanting concerning them. In 
1822-23 a very fatal but limited sickness from a local cause 
occurred in Rutland, and in the winter of 1844—45 a sim- 
ilar but more fatal and prevalent sickness occurred in Ant- 
werp, of which many died. The cholera has on the several 
occasions of its return spread an alarm through the county, 
but fortunately never visited our border except perhaps in 
a few scattered cases." 


On the 18th day of April, 1691, the Colonial assembly 
passed a bill providing for the appointment of a school- 
master for " educating and instructing children and youth 
to read and write in the English language in every town in 
the province. "§ April 9, 1795, the legislature of the State 
passed an act appropriating twenty thousand pounds per 
annuni, for five years, for the encouragement and mainte- 
nance of common schools, wherein the children of the in- 
habitants of the several towns and districts might be 
" instructed in the English language, or be taught English 

X Dr. C. P. Komball, of Rutland. 
§ Journal of Assembly, p. 7. 



grammar, arithmetic, mathematics, and such other branches 
of knowledge as are most useful and necessary to complete 
a good English education."* The several counties were to 
receive a portion of this annual distribution according to 
their population, and were required to raise a sum annually 
equal to the amount received by them by tax for the like 
purpose. Herkimer county's proportion of the first distri- 
bution was nine hundred and thirty pounds. Seven com- 
missioners of schools were chosen in each town. In 1812 
the legislature passed an act for the establishment of com- 
mon schools, and provided for the appointment of a super- 
intendent of common schools, whose duty should be to 
prepare and digest plans for the improvement and manage- 
menc of a common school-fund. In 1813 a permanent 
fund was provided for the support of common schools by 
an appropriation of the net proceeds of the sales of the 
State lands since April 2, 180^ and sufficient of the unsold 
lands at the date of the passage of the act, April 9, 1813, 
to make five hundred thousand acres. The money arising 
therefrom to be loaned at seven per cent., and distributed 
among the counties when the income reached fifty thousand 
dollars annually. The first distribution under this law to 
Jefferson County was made in 1813, and amounted to 
seven hundred and eighty-nine dollars and thirty-two cents, 
and was apportioned to the several towns as follows : 

Le Ray, $59.93 ; Hounsfield, $49.20 ; Rutland, $90.57 
Champion, $77.21 ; Lorraine, $42.41 ; Watertown, $95.92 
EUisburg, $89.37 ; Rodman, $66.57; Brownville, $86.51 
Henderson, $59.36 ; Adams, $72.27. 

These towns raised by tax as much or more than the 
amount they received for similar purposes. In 1831 the 
distribution for the State amounted to $100,000, Jeffer- 
son's share being $2527.61. Azariah C. Flagg was the 
State superintendent. In 1836 the distribution was in- 
creased to $110,000, Jefferson getting $2686.74, John A. 
Dix being the superintendent. By the act of March 26, 
1849, free schools were provided for; but the law was re- 
pealed in 1851, the people of Jefferson County voting for 
the repeal by a large majority, some sixty per cent, of the 
total vote. The law of 1851 appropriated $800,000 annu- 
ally for the payment of teachers' wages, and abolished the 
requirement for the raising of an equal amount by taxation 
in the towns. A rate-bill was established to pay any de- 
ficiency in teachers' wages not covered by the annual 
distribution. In 1856 the clause in the law of 1851 appro- 
priating $800,000 annually was repealed, and a tax of three- 
fourths of a mill on the dollar of the real and personal 
valuation of each county substituted therefor for the pay- 
ment of teachers' wages, and the rate-bill continued. The 
board of supervisors was to elect the school commissioners. 
In 1853 the law providing for Union free schools was 
passed, which permits and authorizes the inhabitants of two 
or more adjoining districts to vote for and elect trustees, 
and levy a general tax on the property in the united dis- 
tricts for the payment of teachers' wages and all other ex- 
penses. In 1867 the rate-bill was finally repealed and the 
common school made entirely free from private assessment 
of its patrons. 

•s This appropriation e.-cpirc(l in 1800. 


The earliest schools in the county were opened at various 
points, — Watertown, Rutland, EUisburg, Brownville, and 
perhaps a few other localities, principally in the western 
and southwestern portion of the county, — commencing 
about 1802. They were supported by a tax made up in 
the form of rate-bills, which system was not entirely super- 
seded until 1867, when the schools became really free to 
all classes, rich and poor alike. 

Probably the first school in the county was opened in 
Watertown, in 1802, under the supervision of Miss Sally 
Coffeen, a daughter of Henry Coffeen, one of the pioneers 
of the county. This embryo school is said to have been 
taught in an unoccupied barn which stood on the ground 
now occupied by the "Dispatch"' block, on Arcade street. 
A sister. Heiress Coffeen, subsequently taught in a log 
house on Washington street. It is said that the first 
school district organized in the county was in 1804, and 
embraced the whole town of Watertown. A small frame 
building was erected for school purposes on the brow of a 
steep hill near where the Universalist church now stands. 
It was elevated upon logs set endwise, and stood about four 
feet above the ground. The seats consisted of a pine board 
extending around the outside of the room, while the teacher 
occupied the central amphitheatre. A Mr. McGregor, a 
native of Scotland, was the first teacher, and following him 
was a " missionary," named Leavenworth. Succeeding him 
were Roswell Babbitt and a Mr. Laidlow. Then came 
Jeremiah Bishop, who became badly involved, and as im- 
prisonment for debt was legal in those days, the school 
interests of Watertown were seriously endangered by his 
misfortune. But his creditors were magnanimous, and 
allowed him the liberty of the "jail limits,'' which prob- 
ably comprised a radius of a mile around the jail buildings, 
and the school was not interrupted. Bishop appears to 
have been a man of considerable scientific attainments, and 
among other projects of his fertile brain was one for eradi- 
cating weeds and Canada thistles from the public square. 
His plan was to sprinkle freely with salt and let the cattle 
eat them as a salad ; but the plan did not produce the de- 
sired result, though the discoverer insisted that it was only 
a question of time. Succeeding BIr. Bishop came two gen- 
tlemen named Cowan and Everett, the latter of whom con- 
tinued as late as 1816. It is said that the first court ever 
held in the county was in this school building, in 1807. 


Schools of a higher grade were established at an early 
day and flourished for many years, and there are several 
institutions of a high order now in operation. A detailed 
account of all these will be found in the history of the 
respective towns where they are, or were, situated. 

The first academy which went into operation in Jeffer- 
son County was located in WatertSwn, and was opened 
in 1811. In 1835 the " Watertown Academy" was incor- 
porated. In May, 1836, the " Black River Literary and 
Religious Institute" was incorporated. In February, 1846 
the name was changed by act of the legislature to " Jeffer- 
son County Institute." This school continued until 1865 
when the building was leased for a high-school to the 



board of education of the city of Watertown. The " Union 
Literary Society," at Belleville, in the town of Ellisburg, 
was incorporated in April, 1826, and is still in operation. 
The "Orleans Academy" was put in operation in 1851, 
and continued for many years. The " Brownville Female 
Seminary" was opened in 1849, and continued in opera- 
tion until April 5, 1855, when an act was passed allowing 
it to sell its property and close up. 

An association called the "Jefferson County Education 
Society'' was formed by a convention which assembled at 
the court-house for the purpose September 7, 1835. It 
was intended to be a part of a general system of similar 
associations for the promotion of improvements in common 
schools. Its officers consisted of a president and vice- 
president in each town, a secretary and treasurer, and an 
executive committee of five. Meetings were to be held 
once in three months, addresses delivered, and strenuous 
efforts made in the several towns to carry into effect effi- 
cient measures for the employment of competent teachers, 
and any improvement calculated to advance the interests of 
schools and elevate the standard of education. The first 
officers elected were as follows: William Ruger, President; 
J. Jlullin, of Watertown ; Joseph Graves, of Rutland ; Al- 
fred Lathrop, of Champion ; Herman Strong, of Rodman ; 
Daniel Howard, of Adams; John Boyden, of Lorraine; 
Hiram Barney, of Ellisburg ; Forrester Dexter, of Houns- 
field ; Thomas Knapp, of Brownville ; Dr. Wood, of Lyme ; 
E. Gr. Blerrick, of Clayton ; William Martin, of Alexan- 
dria ; A. M. Harger, of Pamelia ; E. Tucker, of Philadel- 
phia ; Elisha Steele, Jr., of Le Ray ; Rufus H. King, of 
Antwerp; Eli West, of Wilna, Vice-Presidents; Peleg 
Burohard, Secretary ; Egbert Ten Eyck, Treasurer ; B. A. 
Hiekox, Dr. Reuben Qoodale, Justin Butterficld, Dr. A. 
Trowbridge, and Charles Mason, Executive Committee. 
This association was very short-lived. 

The supervisors, in November, 1841, by a vote of eigh- 
teen to nine, agreed upon appointing two superintendents 
of schools, and Ira Mayhew, of Adams, and Henry D. 
Sewall, of Pamelia, were accordingly named for that office. 
In 1842, Lysander H. Brown was appointed in place of 
Sewall, and in 1843 Porter Montgomery in place of May- 
hew. In the same year the county was divided into two 
districts. Black river being the dividing line, except that 
Wilna was attached to the southern portion. Mr. Brown 
received the charge of the northern, and ]\Ii-. Montgomery 
of the southern district. In 1844 this division was abol- 
ished, and 5[r. Montgomery received the charge of all the 
schools in the county. In 1845, Erwin S. Barnes was ap- 
pointed, and held his office until it was abolished by an 
act of the legislature. 

At the adoption of the free-school law, a special meeting 
of the supervisors was held, December 26, 184<J, and the 
treasurer was authorized to borrow of the State, on the 
credit of the county, -the sum of $7112.59, to be applied 
to the use of common schools. This loan was sanctioned by 
a special act, passed April 10, 1850, and directed to be 
made from the capital of the school fund, to be repaid tlie 
next year by a tax upon the county. At the first election 
on the free-school law, about sixty-five per cent, of all the 
votes were for the law ; and in the following election sixty 

per cent, voted for its repeal. In 1849, active efforts were 
made to sustain the law by its friends, and a convention met 
at Watertown in October, at which resolutions were passed 
warmly commending the spirit of the act, and an address 
was published urging the electors to support it. The 
several candidates for assembly were interrogated upon their 
views on this subject. 

The free-school law in all its bearings was not fully 
adopted until 1867. 


According to the State superintendent's report for the 
year 1875, the number of school districts in the county, 
not including the city of Watertown, was 356, and inclu- 
ding the nine city districts, 365, with a total attendance of 
15,645, of whom 382 were from other districts. The ag- 
gregate number of children in the county, between the ages 
of five and twenty-one years, was 21,239, including 3031 
in the city of Watertown. 

The amount of State tax for school purposes was 
§21,898.05; district tax, $80,677.27; total income from 
all sources for school purposes, $140,822.03. 

There were also ten private schools, with an attendance 
of 334. The aggregate number of school buildings was 
364, of which 6 were log, 310 frame, 11 brick, and 37 
stone structures. The total valuation of school property in 
the county, exclusive of the higher institutions of learning, 
was $326,436, of which the property in Watertown con- 
tributed $88,132. The higher institutions of the county 
probably include an additional valuation of over $100,000. 
The number of licensed teachers employed for 28 weeks 
or more was 437. The total number of licensed teachers 
in the county for the year ending September 30, 1875, was 

The number of volumes in the various school libraries 
was reported at 10,826, of the value of $8237. 

The county is subdivided into three districts, each super- 
vised by one of three commissioners, who makes his reports 
directly to the State superintendent of public instruction. 
The present commissioners of Jefferson County are Wm. 
H. H. Sias, of Henderson ; Ambrose E. Sawyer, of Car- 
thage; and Don A. Watson, of Redwood. The various 
towns of the county are divided into districts having one 
school each, and these districts are superintended by trus- 
tees (one or three to each, as the people may choose), who 
make their reports to the commissioner of their respective 
districts. The commissioners receive a salary, but the 
services of the district trustees are gratuitous. All local 
taxes are levied and collected by each district independent 
of other taxes, and also independent of each other. 

The city schools of Watertown are under the control of 
a board of education and a general superintendent, and 
each separate school is superintended by a principal with 
several assistants. The high school is under the manage- 
ment of a faculty. In Watertown and most of the larger 
villages the schools are conducted upon the graded system, 
but those of the rural districts are not graded. The schools 
of the county are generally in a prosperous condition. 

Teachers' institutes are held at different places in the 
county, and a "county teachers' association" holds quarterly 



sessions for discussion of subjects pertaining to educa- 


Under an act of the legislature of April 1, 1796, pro- 
viding for the establishment of town libraries, several of 
these institutions were formed, by the united effort of indi- 
viduals in various towns, the first one being the Watee- 
TOWN Social Library, organized March 9, 1805, at the 
house of x\aron Brown. John Patrick was chairman of 
the meeting, and the following-named trustees were elected : 
William Huntington, Corlis Hinds, Hart Massey, Henry 
Jewett, and Daniel Brainard. The certificate of organiza- 
tion was acknowledged before Joshua Bealls, judge, June 
22, 1805. 

The Rutland Farmers' Library was organized No- 
vember 11, 1806, Ethel Bronsou, Hugh Henderson, Abel 
Sherman, Daniel Eanies, and Curtis Mallery being elected 
the first trustees, the certificates being acknowledged before 
Perley Keyes, judge. 

The Brownville Library was organized February 
10, 1807, with John Brown, John Baxter, Henry Ansley, 
John Simonds, Stephen Stanley, Isaac Parse, and Thos. Y. 
How as trustees. 

The Union Library op Le Ray was organized 
August 10, 1810, with Abner Passcll, James Shurtleff, 
Horatio Orvis, Renel Kimball, Oliver Pearoe. Isaac Ingor- 
son, and Jonathan Miller trustees. 

The Ellisburg Union Library was organized Feb- 
ruary 16, 1813, with Elijah Woodworth, chairman; 
Lyman Ellis, librarian ; Ebenezer Wood, treasurer ; Caleb 
Ellis, Brooks Herrington, Oliver Scott, Shubael Lyman, 
and Isaac Burr, trustees. 

The Farmer's Instructor was organized in Rutland, 
June 9, 1813, with William Parkinson, Stephen Burnham, 
Dorus Doty, Cyrenus Woodworth, Cyrus Butterfield, Simeon 
WoodruiF, and Ira Delano, trustees. 

The Union Library op Sacket's Harbor was in- 
corporated September 13, 1815, by electing the following 
trustees: Justin Butterfield, Eli.sha Camp, Amos Hotton, 
Daniel McGinn, James Goodhue, Andrew B. Cooke, and 
Samuel Bosworth. 

The Carthagenian Library was incorporated May 
12, 1818. by electing twelve trustees, as follows: Tyhrian 
Quillard, David Wright, Nathaniel Brown, Lanis Coffeen, 
Ebenezer Tobin, Seth Hooker, John Wait, Elijah Fulton, 
Walter Nimmick, S. E. D. Angelis, John Hodgkins, and 
John D. Balmat. 

The Henderson Social Library was incorporated 
February 19, 1819, by the election of the following 
trustees: Percival BuUard, Peter N. Cushman, Chester 
Norton, Rufus Hatch, Thomas Fobes, Allen Kilby, and 
Elijah Williams. 

The Watebtown Franklin Library, formed Feb- 
ruary 12, 1829, with Charles E. Clarke, Ralph Clapp, 
John Sigourney, Daniel Lee, Isaac H. Bronson, Clarke 
Rice, Otis Colwell, Henry L. Harvey, Baker Massey, Alvin 
Hunt, Ira Brewster, and Wm. Smith, trustees, had formed 
a collection of books, that were sold in February, 1831:, 
when the society disbanded. 


Religious instruction and organization were nearly coeval 
with the first settlements in Jefferson County. The earliest 
laborers in this important field were missionaries from the 
older portions of the country, who came while the country 
was yet new and sparsely settled, and labored industriously 
among the people. Many churches were eventually organ- 
ized as a result of their labors. Among the earliest of these 
missionaries was Rev. James W. Woodward, who came in 
1802, and spent about four months in the Black River 
region. In his report he acknowledges one dollar collected 
in Adams, fifty cents in Watertown, three dollars and forty- 
seven and a half cents in Rutland, one dollar and fifty cents 
in Champion, and twenty-five cents in Brownville. 

In 1803, Rev. Mr. Hovey, a candidate for the ministry, 
was appointed by the Connecticut missionary society to 
labor for four months in the Black River settlements. 
Rev. Aaron Kinne was sent by the same society to the 
Oswegatchie region. 

Nathaniel Button, John Taylor, and R. Phelps from the 
Hampshire society, and Ira Hart and Lathrop Thompson 
from Connecticut, E. Lazelle, David R. Dixon, Oliver Lev- 
vitt, David Spear, Oliver Alger, Bennet Taylor, and others 
were among the early missionaries of this region. 


Watertown Presbytery. — The Synod of Albany, at Utica, 
October 3, 1816, formed the Presbytery of St. Lawrence 
from that of Oneida. The Rev. Messrs. James Murdoek, 
Isaac Clinton, Samuel F. Snowden, Jeduthan Higby, and 
Daniel Banks, with the congregations at Martinsburgh and 
Ogdensburgh, comprised the new body, which embraced 
Lewis, JeflFerson, and the most of St. Lawrence county. 
The first meeting was held at Martinsburgh, October 31, 
1816. In January, 1822, the Ogdensburgh Presbytery 
was set off, including the county of St. Lawrence, and the 
first meeting being directed to be held at DeKalb. At the 
February session, 1822, at Champion, the following reso- 
lution was passed : 

" That it be recommended, to each member of the Presbytery to use 
his influenoe in the society where he belongs that certain fields be set 
apart and sown or planted with some valuable crop, and cultivated 
in the best manner, and that the avails of said field, together with 
the free-will offerings or donations from mechanics or merchants, be 
appropriated to the missionary, Bible, and educational funds, equally, 
or to one of them only, as the donor shall desire, and that the said 
avails be transmitted to the deposit at Watertown, or any other place 
which may hereafter be appointed." 

In September, 1824, the subject of establishing a Do- 
mestic Missionary Society and a Sabbath-school Union 
came up for action, but both these were postponed. The 
Presbytery subsequently resolved itself into a benevolent 
association, and recommended the formation of auxiliaries 
in the several churches. 

In January, 1822, the remainder of the Presbytery of 
St. Lawrence, after setting off that of Ogdensburgh, was 
named Watertown Presbytery. This title continued until 
the reunion of the two Presbyterian bodies in 1870, when 
Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties were united in one 
under the name of Presbytery of St. Lawrence. At the same 



time Lewis county, which had previously formed a part of 
Watertown Presbytery, was set off to tlie Utica Presbytery. 

The Presbyterian church in Kingston for many years 
belonged to this Presbytery. At the February meeting of 
1834 it withdrew. 

A compendium drawn up by order of the Presbytery in 
1828, gives the following facts in relation to religious 
revivals in that church, with the numbers added: — 1815, 
Lowville, 1st and 2d church united, 25 added; 1817, 
Rutland, 30; 1818, Saoket's Harbor, 15; 1819, Adams, 
65; 1820, Sacket's Harbor, 70; 1821, Watertown, 93; 
1822, Rutland, 20 ; Adams, 62 ; Brownville, 20 ; 1823, 
Sacket's Harbor, 25, mostly from the army, and families of 
officers; 1824, Lowville, 1st, 95; 2d, 16; Martinsburgh, 
23 ; Loyden, 1st, 42 ; Ellisburg, 20 ; Denmark, 1st and 
2d united, 30 ; Cape Vincent, 30 ; Antwerp, 35 ; Le Ray, 
30; Orleans, 15; 1826, Adams, 25; 1827, Watertown, 
29 ; Smithville, 25 ; total added to Presbyterian churches, 
840. The above years were noted for religious excitements, 
and great numbers united with otlier churches. The au- 
thority above quoted attributes much of this to the meeting 
of the Albany synod at Brownville in 1820. In the re- 
vivals of 1824 the Rev. Jedediah Burchard was particularly 
active at Ellisburg and Cape Vincent, and Charles Gr. Fin- 
ney at Antwerp, Le Ray, Brownville, etc. Both have since 
acquired a very unusual degree of celebrity as evangelists. 

In the summer of 1831 there occurred another series of 
religious revivals throughout the country, and " protracted 
meetings'' were held in nearly every village. Great num- 
bers professed conversion, and all the evangelical churches 
received accessions. These proceedings were strongly dis- 
countenanced by a portion of the citizens, and led to a 
convention at the court-house, July 2, 1831, at which 
addresses deprecating these excitements were made, and 
resolutions were published expressing their sentiments on 
this subject. In these a conscientious approval of pure 
religion was avowed, but the popular excitements of the 
day were denounced as whirlwinds of moral desolation. 

The Presbytery of St. Lawrence is included in the Synod 
of Central New York, which comprises five Presbyteries, 
viz., Binghamton, Otsego, St. Lawrence, Syracuse, and 

There are at present fourteen organizations of this de- 
nomination in Jefferson County, as follows : Adams, Brown- 
ville, Cape Vincent, Carthage, Chaumont, Dexter, Evans' 
Mills, Oxbow, Orleans, Plessis, Sacket's Harbor, Theresa, 
Watertown First, and Watertown Stone Street churches. 
The number of families connected with these churches, by 
the report of 1876-77, was 905, and the number of com- 
municants 1775. The total congregational expenses of 
these churches was $17,108, and the miscellaneous charities 
amounted to $1238. 

Sabbath-schools are connected with each of the churches 
and the total membership was by the same report 1671. 
All the schools have good libraries, but the number of 
volumes is not given. 


This denomination was among the earliest in the county. 
The Black River Association was formed in 1807, at Low- 

ville, Lewis county, by delegates from churches at East and 
West Leyden, Turin, Lowville, Denmark, Champion, Rut- 
land, Watertown, Rodman, Adams, and Lorraine. Quite 
a number of the early organizations were eventually merged 
in the Presbyterian body. 

At the present time there are organizations belonging to 
this denomination in the following villages of Jefferson 
County ; Antwerp, Burrville, Champion, Mannsville, Phila- 
delphia, Rodman, Rutland, West Carthage, and Woodville. 
We have not been able to obtain the desired information as 
to membership and other statistics of the general body, but 
a history of each society will be found in the history of the 
respective towns and villages where they are situated. 


Previous to 1 830 the county of Jefferson had formed at dif- 
ferent periods a portion of Albany, Cayuga, Oneida, and Black 
River districts. In 1836 the " Black River Conference" was 
organized, and formally incorporated April 17, 1841. It 
included a large number of counties in northern New York. 
The first board of trustees consisted of George Gary, John 
Dempsey, Nathaniel Salisbury, Gardner Baker, Wm. S. 
Buwdish, Isaac Stone, and Lewis Whitcomb. Its original 
charter restricted its powers to the holding of property 
which should produce an annual income not exceeding tea 
thousand dollars ; but the new charter, obtained in 1873, 
enlarged its jurisdiction so that its annual income might 
amount to fifteen thousand dollars. 

The " Black River Circuit" was formed in 1804, and 
up to 1815 included the entire county and considerable 
additional territory. In the latter year " Sandy Creek Cir- 
cuit" was formed, including part of Jefferson County. 
Among the early preachers were the following : Black 
River Circuit, 1804, Griffin Sweet, Asa Cummings ; 1805, 
G. Sweet, Seymour Ensign ; 1806, Matthew Van Duzen, 
William Vredenburgh ; 1807, Datus Ensign ; 1808, Mat- 
thew Van Duzen, Luther Bishop ; 1809, L. Bishop, Wm. 
Jewett; 1810, Joseph Willis, Chandler Lambert; 1811, 
AVm. Snow, Truman Gillet ; 1812, Joseph Kinkead; 
1813, Isaac Puffer, Goodwin Stoddard ; 1814, C. Lambert; 
1815, Ira Fairbanks, Jason Hazen. Sandy Creek Circuit, 
1815, James Bowen. 

Circuits were subsequently formed as follows:. 1818, 
Watertown; 1821, Indian River; 1826, Le Ray and 
Watertown ; 1827, Cape Vincent; 1829, Le Ray and Car- 
thage, Brownville and Sacket's Harbor, Adams; 1832, 
Theresa; 1833, Antwerp; 1834, Pulaski and Manns- 
ville; 1836, Carthage, Mannsville, Rodman; 1839, Nat- 
ural Bridge, Evans' Mills ; 1840, Dexter and Pillar Point, 
Philadelphia; 1842, Pillar Point, Belleville, Henderson, 
Ellisburg; 1846, Three-Mile Bay; 1847, Smithville; 1848, 
Pamelia Corners, Depauville ; 1849, Watertown, Arsenal 
Street, State Street ; 1850, Champion ; 1851, La Fargeville. 

These in turn were reconstructed, and at the present 
time the county is divided into two districts and thirty-two 
stations or charges, as follows: Adams District, Adams, 
State Street, Watertown ; Belleville, Rodman, Champion, 
Mannsville, Ellisburg, Lorraine, Henderson, Sacket's Har- 
bor, Pillar Point, Brownville, Three-Mile Bay, Cape Vin- 
cent, Point Peninsula. Watertown District, Arsenal Street, 



Watertown ; Black River, Carthage, Natural Bridge, Pa- 
melia, Evans' Mills, Philadelphia, Antwerp, Sprague's Cor- 
ners, Theresa, La Fargeville, Depauville, St. Lawronco, 
Clayton, Alexandria Bay, Plessis, and Grindstone and 
Wellesley Islands in the St. Lawrence River. 

From the original " Black River District" were formed 
at different times three other districts, as follows : Water- 
town, 18i0; Adams, 18U; Ogdensburgh, 1852. Subse- 
quently the county was erected into two districts, as at 

In 1868 the conference was reduced to four counties, 
viz., Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence, and Franklin. In 
1872 the title was changed to its present one, " Northern 
Now York Conference." At present the conference em- 
braces the counties of Oneida, Oswego, Jefferson, Lewis, 
St. Lawrence, Franklin, and a part of Madison, and is sub- 
divided into six districts, Jefferson County comprising two, 
as before stated. 

The presiding elders of the various districts have been 
as follows: Blade River District, 1820, R. M. Everts; 
1824, Daniel Barnes; 1826, Goodwin Stoddard; 1827, 
Nathaniel Salisbury ; 1832, Josiali Keyes ; 1833, J. Demp- 
ster; 1836, J. Baker. Gouvcrneitr Dittricf, 1839, W. S. 
Bowdish. Wafertoion District, 1840, N.Salisbury; 1842, 
Lewis Whitcomb ; 1844, N. Salisbury ; 1845, L. Whit- 
comb ; 1849, G. Baker; 1853, F. H. Stanton; 1857, B. 
Holmes; 1861, G. Baker ; 1865, J. W. Armstrong ; 1866, 
J. T. Dayan ; 1868, L. D. White ; 1872, I. S. Bingham ; 
1876, S. Call ; 1877, B. F. Wood. Adams District, 1853, 
G. Baker; 1857, F. H. Stanton; 1861, D. W. Roney ; 
1865, G. Baker ; 1869, Thomas Richey ; 1873, M. D. Kin- 
ney ; 1877, I. S. Bingham. 

The conference includes within its jurisdiction four insti- 
tutions of learning, viz., the Syracuse University, the Wes- 
leyan University, the Drew Theological Seminary, and the 
Ives Seminary, the latter located at Antwerp, in Jefferson 
County. It also includes a historical society. Rev. I. S. 
Bingham, president; a life insurance association, a board 
of church extension, a missionary society, a freedman's 
aid society, and a ladies' and pastors' Christian union. 

Conference Offioehs. — President, Bishop Thomas 
Bowman, D.D., LL.D., St. Loui.s, Missouri; Secretary/, S. 
0. Barnes, Herkimer, New York ; Trustees — First Class, 
Isaac S. Bingham, Thomas Richey, Eli C. Bruce ; Second 
Class, Albert E. Corse, Simon P. Gray; Third Class, 
Gardner Baker, Isaac L. Hunt. 

Statistical. — According to the report of the conference 
for 1877, there were thirty-two organizations in the county, 
with a membership, including probationers, of about five 
thousand two hundred. Attached to the various organiza- 
tions were about fifty Sabbath-schools, with a membership, 
including teachers and scholars, of a little over four thou- 
sand, and about three thousand six hundred volumes in 

The estimated value of church property in the county is 
placed at about one hundred and seventy thousand dollars. 
The salaries of ministers range from three hundred and 
fifty to twelve hundred dollars, and the aggregate paid rto 
them to about nineteen thousand four hundred dollars, 
beino- an average of a trifle over six hundred dollars each. 


This denomination of Christians was among the earliest 
to organize in the county, and as early as 1808 or 1809 
" The Black River Baptist Association" was formed, with 
the following churches and number of members, the elders 
of each being given in italics : Adams, 45, Timothy Heath; 
Brownville, 47, Timothy Pool; Champion, 25 ; Denmark, 
29, Peleg Card; Henderson, 42, Emory Osgood; Lor- 
raine, 32, Amos Lampson ; Rutland, 2 churches, of 52 
and 34 members ; Turin, 65, Stephen Parsons. 

In 1802, Baptist missionaries had begun to labor in this 
section, among whom Peter P. Root and Stephen Parsons 
were prominent. In 1810 the missionary limits of this 
body were defined : north of Black river to include Le 
Ray and the new settlements in St. Lawrence and Oswe- 
gatchie, and south to include Mexico on the Salmon river, 
and the new settlements contiguous thereto. Solomon 
Johnson, PJmory Osgood, and Blartin E. Cook were to 
spend the ensuing year, five weeks each, and Amos Lam- 
son six weeks. In 1816 an association of eighty-four ladies 
in Henderson, styled " The United Female Society," formed 
for the purpose of promoting foreign missions, memorialized 
the association, and forwarded 188.74 to aid in this pur- 
pose. This example was followed by others, and in 1817 
reports were received from the Henderson and EUisburg 
Missionary Society, the Female Mission Society in Lor- 
raine, the Female Mite Society in Rutland, the Female 
Society in Brownville, the Baptist Female Society in Rod- 
man, and the Female Mite Society in EUisburg, who, with 
the churches, contributed $243.79 for missions. In the 
same year the " Black River Baptist Missionary Society" 
was formed. In 1818 several auxiliaries to this were or- 
ganized, which had but a short duration. In 1818-19, 
Elder Solomon Johnson was employed several months in 
missionary labors in St. Lawrence and Franklin counties. 
The missionary society, up to 1844, had received $7837, of 
which more than $2000 had been applied to foreign mis- 
sions, and the balance spent in this and neighboring coun- 
ties. The "Jefferson Union Association" existed four 
years, and in 1838 went down. From 1815 to 1819 five 
hundred and sixteen had been added to the churches, and 
in 1821 three hundred and seventy-three more. In 1825 
four or five hundred, and in 1831-34 more than fifteen 
hundred. It was during this period that Elder Jacob 
Knapp first began preaching as an evangelist, and in this 
county commenced that series of protracted meetings with 
the Baptist churches that has since rendered his name cele- 
brated. The excitements raised by his labors were here 
generally transient, and followed by a reaction. By the 
report of 1853 there were twenty-six churches in Jefferson, 
seven in Lewis, and one in Oneida belonging to this asso- 
ciation. Churches in this county exist at Adams (Davis' 
Corners), Adams Centre, Adams village, two in Alexan- 
dria, Antwerp, Steele's Corners, Belleville, Carthage, Clay- 
ton, Depauville, Great Bend, Henderson, La Fargeville, 
Lorraine, Le Ray, Lyme, Mannsvillo, Perch River, Phila- 
delphia, Rodman, Smithville, Tylevville, Woodville, Water- 
town, and North Wilna. 

On the 28th of January, 1820, Martin E. Cook, Sardis 



Little, Emery Osgood, and others were incorporated as the 
" Black River Baptist Missionary Society." The first meet- 
ing was to be held at the brick school-house, near Elisha 
Morgan's, in Rutland. The association has been continued 
down to the present time in a healthy and prosperous con- 
dition. It includes at present all the Baptist churches in 
Jefferson County, and a considerable number in adjoining 

" The Black River Baptist Missionary Society" was some 
years since merged into the Association. A " Woman's 
Missionary Society" was organized about 1873, having con- 
nection with all the churches in the Association. It is a 
vigorous and industrious body of co-workers. 

The following statistics are from the annual report of the 
Association for the year 1877 : 

Whole number of church organizations in the county, 
eighteen, as follows : Adams, Adams Centre, Adams Vil- 
lage, Belleville, Carthage, Clayton, Great Bend, Henderson, 
La Fargeville, Le Ray, Lorraine, Lyme, Mannsville, Phil- 
adelphia, Redwood, Smithville, South Rutland, Watertown, 

Tlie total membership is about two thousand, and the 
valuation of church property not far from one hundred and 
twenty-seven thousand dollars. The value of the parsonages 
given is eleven thousand three hundred and fifty dollars. 
The total amount raised by the Association for all benevo- 
lent purposes for the year was 11649.28. 

There are thirteen Sunday-schools reported in Jefferson 
County, with one hundred and twenty-seven teachers, and 
a membership of one thousand three hundred and forty. 
The number of volumes in the libraries is about eight 

Officers of the Association. — Moderator, A. J. Brown, 
Adams; CVer/i;, Rev. S. W. Hatch, Adams; Corresponding 
Secretary, Rev. J. 0. Perkins, Copenhagen ; Treasurer, C. 
W. McKinstry, Three-Mile Bay ; Librarian, H. F. Overton, 
Adams; Historian, Rev. J. W. Putnam, Watertown. 

" The Free Communion Baptist Black River Yearly 
Meeting" was organized and adopted a constitution in Sep- 
tember, 1830, although meetings had been held previously. 
The limits of this body were defined as bounded west by 
the Genesee river, south by the Mohawk, and east by the 
East Canada creek, embracing the country north of Utica 
within these limits. In 1831, this body reported churches 
in Alexander, Lyme, and Orleans, where societies had 
mostly been formed by settlors from Russia, Now York, 
where the sect was by far the most numerous. Subsequent 
minutes report societies at Hounsfield, Clayton, and Phila- 
delphia. This body has since been merged in the Free-will 
Baptist church. 


We have been unable to get the general history of this 
denomination for the county, but each separate organization 
will be found written in the respective towns and villages 
where situated. The churches of Jefferson County are in- 
cluded in the diocese of central New York. 

According to the United States census of 1870, there 
were ten organizations in the county, with sittings for the 
accommodation of three thousand four hundred. 


The Catholics were among the earliest in the county. 
M. Le Ray de Chaumont and all the early French settlers 
were members of this'body, and Le Ray himself was active 
in promoting the interests of the young colonies of the 
" mother church." The oldest church of this denomination 
in northern New York is located in the village of Carthage, 
having been organized in 1821. 

By the census returns of 1870, the Catholics are 
credited with twelve organizations in the county, with sit- 
tings for four thousand four hundred and sixty-six people. 
A history of each society will be found in connection 
with that of the towns and villages where the same are 
situated. The seat of the bishopric is at Ogdensburgh. 


The earliest organizations of this denomination were in 
Watertown, 1820, and Ellisburg, 1821. 

We have not been able to procure the necessary data for 
the church at large, but a separate account of each organi- 
zation in the county will be found in connection with the 
history of the various towns and villages. 


We are indebted to the Rev. F. Shipherd for the follow- 
ing notice of this sect : 

"In the year 1838 the Synod of the Frankean Evangelic Lutheran 
Church sent the Kev. Henry L. Dox as their mis.^ionary, to select any 
portion of Jefferson County as his fielil of labor which he might 
think most likely to yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness in re- 
turn for his labors. Acting under this commission, he located at 
Perch River and Stone Mills. He was 'but a youth and ruddy/ 
but God wrought most astonishing changes through his ministry. 
Churches were soon organized at Perch River and at Stone Mills; 
but no record is found which furnishes the particulars respecting their 
formation. On the 23d of May, 1840, these two churches were bknded 
into one, by mutual agreement, and sixty members were enrolled as 
constituting the church at Stone Mills. On the 13th of November, 
1852, a church was organized at Perch River, consisting of 32 mem- 
bers, leaving 66 remaining at Stone Mills. Mr. Dox also preached 
with great success at Shantyville (now Orleans Four Corners), and 
organized a church, consisting of thirty-three members. The present 
number is eighty-eight. A church edifice, of stone, was erected at 
Stone Mills, about the year 1835, at an expense of some S1500. A 
very neat and commodious house for worship was built at Perch River, 
like that at Stone Mills, on the union principle, and dedicated to the 
worship of God, February 19, 1852. Mr. Charles B. Avery contracted 
to build it for SI 340, but is said to have expended some $1700 upon 
it. On the following a beautiful church edifice, very much 
like that at Perch River, was consecrated to God's service at Orleans 
Four Corners. This building is owned wholly by the Lutheran con- 
gregation, and was erected at the cost of $1250. The lot on which it 
stands was valued at $50; that at Perch River at. '?85. Mr. Dox seems 
to have resigned his charge to the Rev. George W. Hemperley in the 
winter or spring of 1841, who retained this charge, with two short 
intervals, for more than ten years. Fayette Shipherd commenced his 
labors in May, 1862. Unpretending as are these Lutheran churche.", 
they arc deemed important auxiliaries in the reform and salvation of 
the multitudes with whom they are surrounded." * 

By the last census the Lutherans are credited with four 
organizations in Jefferson County, having sittings for seven 
hundred and forty persons. (See History of Towns.) 


or Reformed Church, have one organization in the county, 

* From Dr. Hough's work. 



located at Alexandria Bay, of which an account will be 
found in the history of the town of Alexandria. By the 
last census this society is given sittings for three hundred 
and fifty. 

In addition to the above there were reported by the Jef- 
ferson County Bible Society three Free Methodist, three 
Church of Christ, and one Protestant Methodist organiza- 
tions in the county in 1877. 


The Bible Society of Jefferson County was originally 
formed January 29, 1817, at the Academy in Watertown. 
Tlie firat oificers elected were, Ethel Bronson, president; 
Rev. Samuel F. Snowden, vice-president ; Rev. Nathaniel 
Button, second vice-president, Rev. Daniel Banks, corre- 
sponding secretary; Timothy Burr, recording secretary; 
Egbert Ten Eyck, treasurer ; Micah Sterling, auditor ; and 
fifteen directors. An address was issued to the public and 
measures were taken to supply destitute families. A sys- 
tematic visitation was instituted, and at the January meet- 
ing, 1824, it was reported that up to that time 081 Bibles 
and 457 Testaments had been distributed. The amount 
received had been $515.78, and the amount paid out 
$348.67. Ten town associations had been formed, viz., 
in Adams, Champion, Sacket's Harbor, Rodman, Brown- 
ville, Orleans, Antwerp, Le Ray, Watertown, and Ellisburg. 
Previous to September 20, 1832, the following additional 
auxiliaries had been formed ; Chaumont, Cape Vincent, 
Rutland, Hounsfield, Perch River, Philadelphia, Evans' 
Mills, Alexandria, Smithville, North Adams. In 1834 an 
effort was made to raise $300 to purchase Bibles for foreign 
distribution, besides supplying the county. 

The meetings of the society have been maintained annu- 
ally to the present time. 

We have not been able to procure the various statements 
for the different years since 1853, but present herewith the 
last annual statement for 1877 : 

The present officers are: President, Hon. Willard Ives^ Ist Vice- 
President, John D. Ellis; 2d Vice-President, John F. Moffatt; Secre- 
tary, Rev. Richard Keyesj Treasurer, George B. Masseyj A%iditor, 
A. H. Coughlan. 

The receipts, according to the report for 1876-77, were for Bibles 
and Testaments sold, $491,14; donations, $118.47. 

Condensed statement of contributions by churches and individuals 
for the year ending December, 1876 : 

33 Methodist Episcopal churches $380.79 

9 Presbyterian " 275.81 

6 Congregational " 167.83 

9 Episcopal " 81.98 

7 Baptist " 54.49 

3 Universalist " 52.65 

3 Free Methodist " 13.47 

2 Lutheran " 5.87 

3 Church of Christ " 9.65 

1 Reformed " 20.00 

1 Protestant Methodist " 3.97 

Individuals 16.86 

Total $1083.37 

The last anniversary of the society was the sixtieth, and 
the annual sermon was delivered by Rev. John Waugh, of 
Carthage, from Psalms cxix. 105 : " Thy word is a lamp." 

Rev. Walter R. Long was engaged during the latter part 
of 1875, and most of 1876, in canvassing the county, — 
which is done every .seven or ten years. October 4, 1876, 

he reported business places visited, 490 ; families visit«d, 
7394; Catholic families visited, about 1500; Protestant 
families destitute, 338 ; Catholic families destitute, 539 ; 
Bibles supplied to same, 325 ; families who could not read, 
140 ; total calls made, 8052 ; Bibles devoted to the poor, 
246 ; district schools supplied, 253 ; hotels supplied, 61. 

This society is auxiliary to the American Bible Society, 
which was organized in 1816. 



Roads — Canals — Lake Navigation — First Steamboat — Railways- 

The advance of civilization and improvements in every 
country are in a great degree indicated by the means of 
public conveyance. In barbarous regions such luxuries as 
public roads are unknown ; the only means of travel and 
conveyance being on foot, or at most on horseback, by trails 
and bridle-paths. The most distinguishing mark between 
the savage and the enlightened nations is, perhaps, the dif- 
ference in the means of locomotion, both on land and water. 
The wild and nomadic tribes of the earth have nothing 
superior to the foot-path and the canoe, while the advanced 
nations travel by the smoothly-graded turnpike, the far- 
reaching steel rail, and the magnificent steamer. What an 
immsnse disparity between the bark-canoe of the Delaware 
and the palatial Hudson river steamer, costing a million 
dollars ; or between the wooden sledge of the Esquimaux, 
drawn by dogs, and a Pullman or Wagner palace-car ! 

The power and grandeur of the Roman empire were il- 
lustrated and rendered permanent by her grand system of 
national roads, reaching to the farthest corners of the 
realm; and their excellence was such that the perfect turn- 
pike of the present day is compared with the famous Ap- 
pian Way, as a proof of its thorough construction. The 
strength of the ancient empires of the Incas and Monte- 
zumas was in a great measure owing to their complete 
system of solid and enduring thoroughfares. 

The earliest notice taken of highways in the colonial legis- 
lature, as appears by any edition of the colonial laws, was in 
1691, when the general assembly directed surveyors of high- 
ways to be appointed. It is probable, however, that ante- 
rior to that time legislative provision had been made on 
the subject. Before 1683, highways had been discussed 
before the governor and council, and the system of laws 
known as "the Duke's laws" has reference to these modes 
of communication. No subject on the statute book prior to 
1813 had claimed a greater proportion of legislation than 
the manner of making and repairing roads. Since 1799 
turnpikes have participated in these beneficial effects, and 
received the fostering care of the legislature. In 1721, 
road commissioners were appointed for the western part of 
Albany county, " from the bounds of the village of Schenec- 
tady to the lloquas country, on both sides of the river, and 
as far as Christians are settled, or hereafter may be settled." 



Hendrik Hause, Carl Hansen, and Captain Harman Van 
Slyk were the commissioners. In 1702, — the first year of 
Queen Anne, — Colonel Killian Van Rensselaer, Major Der- 
rick Wessells, John Brunk, and Evart Bancker were ap- 
pointed commissioners for Albany county. On February 
6, 1773, there were appointed highway commissioners for 
Tryon county ; and those in the German Flats district, then 
covering the present area of Jefferson County, were Marcus 
Petri, Nicholas Weaver, and John Cunningham. On the 
same day, the money to arise from the excise tax in Tryon 
county was appropriated for highway improvements. April 
6, 1784, the election of highway commissioners was pro- 
vided for in Montgomery, from three to five being author- 
ized, and " as many overseers of highways as needed." 

E'S^ty years ago the region of northern New York was 
a wilderness, inhabited neither by civilized nor savage 
beings; and its only highways were the tortuous trails 
along which stealthily stole the raiding- and scalping-parties 
of painted and hideous warriors of the fierce Iroquois and 
Alffonqm'n. The changes wrought during the past three- 
quarters of a century are indeed wonderful, and a brief his- 
tory of the earlier projects in the line of internal improve- 
ments is useful and interesting. This chapter is largely 
made up from Dr. Hough's history of Jefferson County. 

The presenting of the following petition by Arthur 
Noble and Baron Steuben to the legislature, in 1791, was 
probably the first step taken in this section looking towards 
improvement in the means of communication : 

" To the Honorable the LegMalure of the State of New York : 

" The petition of the subscribers humbly sheweth : That a line of road 
from the Little Falls, on the Mohawk river, to the falls on the Black 
river, which runs into Lake Ontario, would be attended with infinite 
advantages to this State, not only by opening a trade with the flour- 
ishing settlement of Cadaroque,* and that part of Canad.-i, by which 
all goods and merchandise could be transported from New York for 
half the expense that they are by the present route by the river St. 
Lawrence, but that it would, likewise, very much enhance the value 
of a largo tract of land that this State has to dispose of, on and near 
the said river, and very much facilitate the settlement of that country. 
That it is humbly submitted to the legislature to appoint commis- 
sioners to explore, lay out, and have said road made, and to appro- 
priate a sum of money or lands for that purpose, the distance being 
between fifty and sixty miles ; and your petitioners, as in duty bound, 
will pray. 

"Arthur Noble. 

The committee to whom it was referred reported that the 
prayer of their petition ought to be granted, and that a bill 
be prepared and brought in, authorizing the commissioners 
of the land-office to set apart a tract of land for the purpose 
of defraying the expense in exploring, laying out, and open- 
ing the proposed road. We have not been able to ascertain 
that this was done. 


Jacob Brown, at a very early day, had taken active meas- 
ures for continuing the road which the French settlers had 
opened to the High Falls, while forming their settlement at 
the latter place, down the west side of the Black River 
valley to the St. Lawrence. The first settlers had found 

» Cataraqui: Frontenac, now Kin-'ston. 

their way into the country by using the navigable channel 
of the Black river, from the High Falls to the present 
village of Carthage, or by the tedious and perilous naviga- 
tion of the lake, by way of Oswego. 

In anticipation of settlement, Rodolph Tillier had caused 
to be opened, at the expense of the French company, a route 
from the High Falls, east of Black river, to near the Great 
Bend, from which it continued in a line nearly direct to the 
present village of Clayton. A branch from this diverged 
to the head of navigation on Black River bay, but these 
roads, though cleared and the stumps removed, had no 
bridges, and, consequently, were of no use to the early set- 
tlers. It is said, as an evidence of the incompetence of this 
agent for effecting these improvements, that, upon its being 
represented to him that bridges were indispensable to the 
road, he replied : that he had reserved fifty dollars for the 
very purpose. This road fell entirely into disuse, and it is 
doubtful whether a rod of it is now traveled. 


The first traveled road in the county north of Black river 
owes its origin to Judge Nathan Ford, of Ogdensburgh, 
whose indomitable energy enabled him to encounter the 
difficulties of a new settlement with a success seldom equaled. 
He was a man eminently distinguished for his zeal and 
enterprise in whatever related to internal improvements 
and the public welfare in general. In his correspondence 
with the landholders of Macomb's purchase he frequently 
urged the matter in the most forcible language, and as these 
letters will serve not only to convey an idea of the times, 
but also of the characteristics of the man, we will make 
from them a few extracts. 

To Stephen Van Rensselaer he wrote, December 30, 1799: 

"Tou will allow me the liberty of stating my ideas upon the utility 
of a road being out through from some part of their townships upon 
the St. Lawrence to the Mohawk river. If this oould be made a State 
object it would be productive of two good effects to the proprietors: 
first, it would save them a considerable sum of money ; and, second, 
it would hold out an idea to those •who intend to emigrate of the real 
value of this country, a strong evidence of which would be the legis- 
lature's interesting itself. . . . 

"It is, in my opinion, unreasonable to expect any very heavy and 
important settlements to be made unless there is a road which will 
shorten the distance to Albany. I have taken much pains to ascertain 
the probable distance to Albany, and I dare venture it, as an opinion, 
that it will not overrun 150 miles from this verjr spot. I am confident 
it will fall rather short than otherwise. This road, once cut out, will 
immediately be settled upon, and, if it should be nothing more than 
a winter road at first, the advantage would be immense. 

" The difficulty of getting to this country with families is beyond 
what is generally supposed. The present road through the Chnteau- 
gay county accommodates the few who emigrate from the upper part 
of Vermont, but the immense flood of people who emigrate to the 
westward go there because they have no choice. This road onoo 
opened as contemplated, the emigration would soon turn this way, 
not only because the distance would be less than to the Genesee, but 
also because the lands are better and more advantageously situated. 
If the legislature will not take up the business, I am fully of opinion 
the proprietors will find their account in cutting out the road at their 
own expense. . . . 

" Vastnumbers of the leading farmers in that country haveassured me 
they would go to Albany in preference to Montreal, if it took them throe 
days longer. lam confident the commerce that would flow into Albany, 
through the medium of this road, would very soon reimburse the State 
for the expense. Those who live on our own side of the river are 
compelled from necessity to trade at Montreal. This is the ease with 



myself. My inclination is to trade to Albany, but it is impossible, 
It is highly politic to prevent, if possible, the commerce of this 
country from falling into «, regular system through Montreal; for, 
when people once form mercantile connections, it is vastly difficult 
to divert and turn the current into a now channel. I see no rational 
mode but having the road eut, to secure to Albany so desirable an 
object. I have taken the liberty of stating my ideas upon this sub- 
ject, which, if they should meet yours, I trust and hope you will take 
such steps as will secure a bene6t to the State as well as promote the 
interest of the proprietors and settlors." 

Concerning this survey, Ford wrote, September 27, 1801, 
to Thomas L. Ogden, as follows ; 

" •''«'"■ Sir,— I have most impatiently waited until the present time 
to give you that information upon the subject of the road, which I 
know you are anxious to receive. It is but a few days since Edsal 
finished the survey ; and Captain Tibbett's setting out for Schenec- 
tady to-morrow affords me the earliest opportunity I have had. 
From the east branch of Oswegatchie lake to the Ox Bow, and from 
there on to the High Falls, Edsal runs a line agreeable to the plan 
proposed by Mr. Morris; and, I am sorry to add, soon after leaving 
the Ox Bow, he came to a most intolerable swampy and ridgy ground, 
growing worse and worse as he progressed, and, before he reached 
the High Falls, became so perfectly confident of the impracticability 
of a road, as well as the impossibility of settlement, that he aban- 
doned the idea, went to Castorville, and from thence to the head of 
the Long Falls. From the information I had been able to collect 
from various quarters, I was apprehensive it would be impossible to 
obtain our object by that route, in consequence of which I directed 
Edsal, in case he should find it as he really has, to go to the head of 
the Long Falls, and run a line from there to the Ox Bow ; and I am 
happy to tell you that an excellent road may be had that way, and 
without adding to the distance. And a further advantage arises by 
crossing the Black river at the Long Palls : it is, we fall into the Black 
River road, which saves us the expense of cutting thirty miles. This 
I view as a great object, particularly so as our distance is not in- 
creased thereby. . . . 

" I have contracted with Edsal for making the road from Louis- 
ville to the east branch of Black lake at sixteen dollars per mile; the 
road to be out and cleared one rod; cradle-knolls and sides of ridges 
to be leveled; small crossways and bridges over small streams to be 
made. I have also contracted for eight miles of the road beyond 
east branch, west, at the same terms, and expect to contract for the 
whole soon. Where it falls into the road already cut in Madrid and 
Louisville, deduction is to be made, as much as the cutting of those 
roads cost. 

"From the west line of Madrid to the East Branch (Oswe- 
gatchie river) is 13 miles. 

From East Branch to Ox Bow 26 " 

From Ox Bow to West Branch of Oswegatchie lake (Indian 

river) 13 " 

From West Branch (o head of Long Falls (Carthage) 13 " 

From Long Falls to Shaler's (Turin), (is good road) 30 " 

From Shaler's to Albany, through the Royal Grant and 

Old Johnstown 90 " 

Allow, that I may not be correct in the last statement 
(though I am pretty sure) 5 " 

190 mlles.s 
" There will be the crossway ing and the bridging to be done ; these 
two things will cost considerable, but running the road as I have laid 
it out will cost us certainly not more than half as much as it would 
to go by the High'Falls. Edsal says he is confident that the road 
from Ox Bow to High Falls could not be made for a much less sum 
than two thousand dollars, and then it would be through a country 
which would not settle; now we have a fine country all the way. 
Tuttle has paid the money, and Edsal thinks he will be able to fur- 
nish part of the draft you gave me. I shall not want it all this fall, 
unless the fall should be a very fine one, in which case I hope to see 
the greater part of the business of cutting done. I have put the peti- 
tion upon the subject of the county into the hands of Turner and 

* These distances are found to be as follows ; Oswegatchie river at 
Heuvelton to Ox Bow, nearly as above stated. From Ox Bow to In- 
dian river, 7 miles; from thence to Carthage, 16i miles; from thence 
to Shaler's old settlement (now Coustablovillc), 32 miles. 

Tibhet for signatures, who say they will do all in their power to 
promote the thing. I shall bring it to Albany with me. 

"I hope I shall have the pleasure of meeting you this winter at 
Albany, and I hope you will in the mean time do all in your power 
to help the thing forward. I expected to have heard from you upon 
the subject of the road from Salmon river to the townships. 

" Pray, has the Patroon consented to our road and subscribed, or 
does he still cast a languishing eye to Schroon lake ? 

"Be pleased to make my respects to Mrs. Ogdcn and your family. 

" Believe me to be, with every wish for your health and happiness, 
" Your humble servant, 

" N. Ford." 

" Thomas L. Ogden, Esq., New York." 

This road from Salmon river, referred to, was a part of a 
system of roads that originated with George Scriba, Nathan 
Sage, and others, of Oswego county, that was designed to 
extend from the salt-works to Redfield, and thence through 
as directly as "possible to Champion and St. Lawrence county. 
A letter by Nathan Sage, before us, on this subject, to Judge 
Hubbard, of Champion, at alater period (October 24, 1810), 

"The first object is to open the shortest route to the Salt Springs, 
and a communication to the Genesee country, and those parts adja- 
cent to them. The people south and west are very anxious for this 
road, and will use all their influence. Mr. Scriba has petitions in cir- 
culation in those sections. I shall put some in circulation here, and 
hope you will endeavor to do jill you can in your section. I look on 
this road as of the greatest importance to this part of the State, and 
make no doubt that if subscribers are obtained, and some careful in- 
fluential man bo employed to attend, and your members influence 
themselves, aid can be got by a lottery for this purpose." 

In a letter to Gouverneur Morris, dated September 27, 
1801, Mr. Ford recapitulates the substance of the previous 
one to Ogden, apologizes for the necessity of going to the 
Long Falls instead of through the French lands, and adds: 

" You will please to say how, and in what proportion, the liberal 
subscription you have made shall be applied. I lament that the 
country through to the High Falls is so bad. Should the road be cut 
through the country will not admit of settlement, consequently the 
object that way must be abandoned. I have presumed you would 
not wholly withdraw your patronage, because there are your own 
lands, as well as part of the French lands, which will be materially 
benefited. I have contracted for about one-half the road from Louis- 
ville to the Long Falls, and I expect to close a contract for the re- 
mainder very shortly. The great object of a road to this country to 
us all, and that route being the most practicable one, has induced me 
to hazard the completion of it upon the subscriptions we have ob- 
tained. I wish there had been a. sum subscribed that would have 
justified a wider and better road ; but so it is, and we must make the 
best of it. My contract is to cut out trees eighteen inches and under, 
sixteen and a half feet wide, cradle knolls, and side hills to be dug 
down, small crossways, and small bridges over small runs to be made, 
and stumps to be cut so low as not to obstruct a wheel, and large 
trees to be girdled. For doing this I give sixteen dollars per mile. 
Bridges and crossways are a separate thing, and must be the subject 
of future contracts. I hope to have much of the road finished this 

" From the lower line of Louisville to the East Branch, which the 
road crosses about 3i miles from the Forks (site of the village of 
Heuvelton), 33 miles; from East Branch to Ox Bow, 26; from Ox 
Bow to head of Long Falls, 26 ; from Long to Shaler's, 30 ; from 
Shaler's to Albany, by the way of the Royal Grant and Johnstown, 
90. I possibly may not be correct in the last distance, but I am 
pretty confident I am ; but allow 5 miles, gives 210 miles. This is 
the distance upon this route to Albany, by which your land is brought 
within 170 miles of Albany, which, I will venture to say, is the most 
practicable route that will be had to that city from the St. Lawrence. 
" I am, sir, as ever, your humble servant, 

"N. Ford. 

"Thn Hon. G. Morris, Esq.'' 



To Samuel Ogden Mr. Ford wrote, October 29, 1801 : 

"Dear Sii;—1 wrote you on the 27tli of last month, which I hope 
yoa have received. In that I told you I was pushing at the road, 
and it gives me much pleasure that by a little extraordinary exertion 
I shall get the whole of it so' far completed that I intend finding my 
way through with a sleigh this winter. If I could have but one 
month longer I would have it all bridged; but the season is too far 
advanced, and forbids my attempting it. I have spared no pains to 
get the road on the best ground. I was not satisfied with Bdsal's first 
return of the road, and sent him back to explore the ground again 
between the Ox Bow and the head of the Long Falls, the result of 
which was better ground and four miles saved in distance. My in- 
tention is to set out in January with as many sleighs as I can muster 
and break the road through, and advertise the thing in all the 
northern papers, so as to get people traveling through this winter. 
The present opportunity only gives nic time to tell how much I am, 

"N. Ford." 

To Samuel Ogden Mr. Ford wrote, November 29, 1801 : 

" It is with pleasure I announce to you my having finished cutting 
the road, and all the logs are turned, excepting about eight miles, 
and the party goes out to-morrow morning to finish that ; after which 
I think the road may be said to be passable for sleighs, although there 
is considerable digging yet to be done, as well as crossways. If I 
could have had three weeks longer, I could now have pronounced it 
one of the best roads in any new country. I have had crossways 
made over the worst places, and a bridge over the west branch of 
Black lake (Indian river) eighty feet long, and I should have had 
the bridge over the east branch (Oswegatchie river), but I was fearful 
of being caught by the fall rains. That is a bridge which must be 
twelve rods long. 

"If I live and have my health next summer, I will have that a 
road which shall be drove with loaded wagons, for I have no idea of 
putting up with such a thing as they have made through Chatauguay, 
which scarcely deserves the name of an apology for a road. However, 
X do not know but it will be good enough for the use that will be 
made of it, after ours becomes finished. I expect the ice will serve 
as a bridge over the East Branch this winter. From the East Branch, 
where the road crosses, I have cut a road to this place, and about the 
1st of January I intend to break the road through to the Long Palls 
(Carthage), and find my way to Albany by this new route." 

The road was at first opened by a subscription among the 
land-holders, and its continuation through Lewis county 
was long known as the Oswegatchie road. The sums raised 
by these means proved inadequate to build the road of the 
character which the country demanded, and narrow, sec- 
tional, and local jealousies were found to embarrass the 

It was next attempted, with success, to obtain State pat- 
ronage for this work ; and on April 9, 1804, a lottery was 
created for the purpose of raising the sum of $22,000, to 
construct a road from Troy to Greenwich, and " from or near 
the head of the Long Falls, in the county of Oneida, to the 
mills of Nathan Ford, at Oswegatchie, in St. Lawrence 
county." The latter was to be six rods wide, and Nathan 
Ford, Alexander J. Turner, and Joseph Edseli, were ap- 
pointed commissioners for making it. Owners of improved 
lands might require payment for damages. $12,000 of 
the above sum was appropriated for this road. The summer 
of 1805 was devoted to the location and opening of the 
road, and on October 26, 1805, Judge Ford wrote : 

"I have just returned from laying out the State road between Og- 
densburgh and the Long Falls upon Black River, and I am happy to tell 
you we have made great alterations (from the old road) for the bettor, 
also as well as shortening the distance. . . . The diflieultyl find in 

forming -a plan how our lottery money can be laid out to the best ad- 
vantage, makes me wish for some abler head than mine, to consult, 
or those with whom I am associated in the commission. To contract 
by the mile is very diflioult, and to contract by the job, comprehend- 
ing the whole distance, is still worse. After consulting and turning 
the business in all the ways and shapes it is capable of, I proposed to 
my colleague the propriety of employing a man of reputation, who 
had weight of character equal to the procuring of thirty good hands 
to be paid by the month, and he to superintend the business; the su- 
perintendent to be handsomely paid, and he to carry on and conduct 
the business under the direction of the commissioners. This plan we 
have adopted, and I trust I have found a man who is fully competent 
to the task,* and wo shall make our engagements to begin on the 
26th of May." 


An act was passed March 26, 1803, for opening and im- 
proving certain great roads of the State with the proceeds 
of a lottery, to be drawn under the supervision of Philip 
Ten Eyck, Thomas Storm, William Henderson, Mathias B. 
Tallmadge, and Jacobus Van Schoonhoven. The fund so 
raised was intended to be chiefly applied to the opening of 
roads in the Black river country, and was limited to forty- 
one thousand five hundred dollars. 

Nathan Sage, Henry Huntington, and Jacob Brown 
were appointed commissioners for opening the road above 
mentioned, passing through Kedfield, and these were, by 
an act passed April 9, 1804, authorized and empowered to 
make such deviations on said route as they deemed proper, 
notwithstanding the provision in the original act. 

Jacob Brown, Walter Martin, and Peter Schuyler were 
appointed under the act of March 26, 1803, to locate the 
road through the Black river valley, which has since, until 
recently, been known as the Stiite road, and $30,000 were 
expended under that act. Silas Stow acted a short time 
as one of the commissioners, both on the Black river and 
the Johnstown section, with Brown, Martin, and Schuyler. 

By an act of April 8, 1808, Augustus Sacket, David I. 
Andrus, and John Meacham were empowered to lay out a 
public road four rods wide, commencing at such place in 
Brownville or Hounsfield as shall, in the opinion of the 
commissioners, best unite with the great road leading from 
Rome to the river St. I^awrence at Putnam's ferry, and 
pursuing such route as in their opinion shall best accouimo- 
date the public in general, to the village of Salina. 

By an act of April 2, 1813, the surveyor-general was 
" authorized and required to sell and dispose of so much 
of the unappropriated lauds of this State, on a credit of 
twelve months, lying in the county of Oneida, called the 
Fish creek land, as shall raise the sum of $4000 ; and the 
same is hereby appropriated for improving the road from 
Saoket's Harbor, on Lake Ontario, to the village of Rome, 
in the county of Oneida, being the road heretofore laid out 
by commissioners appointed by the State, and pay the same 
over to Henry Huntington, Clark Allen, and Dan Taft, who 
are hereby appointed superintendents to take chtirge of the 
expenditures of the said sum, for the objects aforesaid." 

An act was passed April 1, 1814, appointing William 
Smith, George Brayton, and Benjamin Wright to lay out 
a road from Salina to Smith's Mills (Adams), to intersect 

* David Seymour, of Springfield, Vermont, the father of George N. 
Seymour, Esq., of Ogdensburgh. 



at that place the State road from Rome, through Redfield 
and Lorraine, to Brownville. The sum of $5000, derived 
from duties on salt and a tax on the adjacent lands that 
were to receive direct and immediate benefit from the road, 
was apjplied for its construction. The road was completed 
to Adams, and was long known as the Salt Point road, or 
State road. 

On the 17th of April, 1816, a State road was directed 
to be laid out from Lowville to Henderson harbor, which 
was surveyed, but the whole of it was not opened. It was 
principally designed to benefit lands in Pinckney and the 
other thinly-settled townships, but never became of public 

A road from French Creek to Watertown was, by an act 
of April 1, 1824, directed to be made under the direction 
of Amos Stebbins, Azariah Doane, and Henry H. CofFeen. 
It was to be opened and worked as a public road in the 
towns through which it passed, it being expected that the 
Commissioners would secure its location in such a manner 
as to secure the public interests only. 

An act of April 18, 1828, provided for improving the 
public road between Canton and Antwerp by a tax on lands 
to be benefited. 

By an act of April 19, 1834, Loren Bailey, Azariah 
Walton, and Eldridge Gr. Merrick were appointed to lay out 
a road along the St. Lawrence, from near the line of Lyme 
aud Clayton to Chippewa Bay, in Hammond. The cost, 
not exceeding f 100 per mile, was to be taxed to adjacent 
lands; and in 1836, 1838, and 1839 the act was amended 
and extended. 

A State road from Carthage to Lake Champlain was, by 
an act of April 4, 1841, authorized to be laid out by Nel- 
son J. Beach, of Lewis county, David Judd, of Essex, and 
Nathan Ingerson, of Jefferson counties. The road has 
been surveyed and opened the whole distance. Much of it 
lies through an uninhabited forest. 

The enterprise of individual proprietors led, at an early 
day, to the opening of extended lines of roads, among 
which were the Morris and Hammond road, the Alexandria 
road, etc. The tour of President Monroe in 1817 probably 
led to the project of uniting the two prominent military 
stations of Plattsburg and Sacket's Harbor by a military 
road, which was soon after begun. A report of John C. 
Calhoun, then secretary of war, dated January 7, 1819, 
mentions this among other national works then in pr6gress. 
The labor was done by relief parties of soldiers from these 
garrisons, who received an extra allowance of fifteen cents, 
and a gill of whisky daily. The western extremity, from 
Sacket's Harbor, through Brownville, Pamelia Four Cor- 
ners, and Redwood to Hammond, and from Plattsburg to 
the east line of Franklin county, only were completed.^ The 
care of the general government ended with the opening of 
these roads, and the portion in this county has been main- 
tained as a town road. 


The " Oneida and Jefferson Turnpike Company" was 
incorporated April 8, 1808, for the purpose of making a 
road, by the most eligible route, from the house of James 
Tryon, in Rome, by way of David Butler's, in Redfield, 

and the south branch of Sandy creek, in Malta (Lorraine), 
and thence to Putnam's ferry, on the St. Lawrence. The 
persons named in the act were Nathan Sage, Peter Colt, 
Angustus Sacket, Jacob Brown, David Smith, and Eliphalet 
Edmonds. Capital, 4700 shares of $25 each. A com- 
pany with the same name, and a capital of $20,000, was 
chartered May 3, 1834, but never got into efficient opera- 
tion. The commissioners named were Elisha Camp, 
Thomas C. Chittenden, Clark Allen, Ira Seymour, Nelson 
Darley, and Alanson Bonnet. 

" The St. Lawrence Turnpike Company," formed April 
5, 1810, of twenty-nine leading land-holders of northern 
New York, headed by J. Le Ray, built, in 1812-13, a 
turnpike from a point five and a half miles north of Car- 
thage to Bangor, Franklin county. They were in 1813 
released from completing the termini, which had originally 
been intended to be the Long Falls and Malone. The 
road was opened under the supervision of Russell Attwater, 
and built from the proceeds of lands subscribed for its 
construction along the route. During the war it was a 
source of great profit, but afterwards fell into disuse, and 
the company were, by an act of April 17, 1827, allowed to 
abandon it to the public. 

" The Ogdensburgh Turnpike Company," formed June 
8, 1812, capital, $50,000, and mainly sustained by David 
Parish, soon after built a turnpike from Carthage to Og- 
densburgh by way of Antwerp, Rossie, and Morristown. 
This was also, by an act of April, 1826, surrendered to the 
public. Few persons better deserve honorable mention for 
their liberality in contributing to public improvement than 
David Parish, whose share of expense in opening the Og- 
densburgh turnpike was $40,000, and in the St. Lawrence 
upwards of $10,000. Mr. Le Ray is also equally deserv- 
ing of remembrance as the early and constant benefactor of 
these improvements, and his expenditures on these were 
doubtless greater than those of any other person. 

By an act passed March 30, 1811, the governor was to 
appoint commissioners to lay out two turnpikes. One of 
these was to pass from Lowville, by way of Munger's Mills, 
and Watertown to Brownville ; the other from Munger's 
Mills to Sacket's Harbor. 

On the 13th of February, 1812, Mr. Le Ray addressed 
the following memorial to the legislature : 

" To the Honorable, the Legislature of the State of New York : 

" The petition of James Le Ray de Chaumont, respectfully sheweth : 
That the St. Lawrence Turnpike Road, leading from the Blacli River 
to the town of Malone, in Franklin County, is now opened the whole 
of the distance, and it is expected will be completed in the course of 
this year. That a direct road leading from the Black River, opposite 
the village of Watertown, and intersecting the River St. Lawrence 
in the town of Le Ray, would, in the opinion of your petitioners, 
greatly promote the public convenience; that the country through 
which such road would have to pass is in a great measure unsettled, 
and the settlement and improvement of which would be much promoted 
by a good road. Your petitioners would also beg leave further to rep- 
resent that the road leading from the village of Chaumont to the vil- 
lage of Cape Vincent, on the river St. Lawrence, opposite Kingston, 
in Upper Canad.a, a distance of about eleven miles, passes through a 
very level and an unsettled tract of country, and is at present much 
out of repair, and during the greater part of the year so miry as to 
be almost impassable ; that by reason of this road being in such 
situation, persons traveling through the Black River country to 
Upper Canada are obliged, during the summer season, to submit to 



the inconvenience and risk of crossing Lake Ontario,— a navigation 
by no means safe, especially in open boats; that in case the said road 
was so improved that it could be safely and conveniently passed by 
horses and carriages at all seasons of the year, the public conve- 
nience as well as the settlement and cultivation of that part of the 
country would, in the opinion of your petitioner, bo greatly pro- 

" Your petitioner therefore humbly requests your honorable body 
to authorize him, by law, to make a turnpike road from the village 
of Chaumont, in the town of Brownville, to the village of Cape Vin- 
cent, on the River St. Lawrence, and from the Black River, opposite 
the village of Watertown, to intersect the St. Lawrence Turnpike Road 
at or near where the same crosses the Indian River, in the town of 
Le Ray; upon such conditions and under such limitations and re- 
strictions as you, in your wisdom, shall think fit to impose. And he, 
as in duty bound, will ever pray, etc. 

" Jame.s Le Ray ue Chaumont, 
" By his Attorney, V. Le Ray de Chaumont." 

The war which soon ensued diverted attention for a time 
from this improvement; but, on March 31, 1815, an act 
was passed, empowering Le Ray to build the Cape Vincent 
turnpike from that place to Perch River. Elisha Camp, 
Musgrove Evans, and Robert McDowel were named commis- 
sioners for locating it in such a manner as to best promote 
the public interests; the usual provisions were made, as 
with companies, to obtain the right of way, and Mr. Le 
Ray was not compelled to build a bridge over Chaumont 
river. On the 12th of April, 1816, he was allowed to ex- 
tend the road to Brownville village. By an act of April 
21, 1831, this road was surrendered to the public, and with 
it ended the era of turnpikes in JeiFerson County. 


Measures were taken for building plank-roads soon after 
the passage of the general law. The first one built was 
from Watertown to Sacket's Harbor, which was completed 
in 1848. The company had been formed August 7, 1847. 
The first plank-road inspectors were appointed Novem- 
ber 17, 1847, and were William Wood, Samuel Boyden, 
and Walter Collins. 

Dui'ing 1849-51 numerous roads were constructed, which 
will be named in the order of their connection and locality. 
The " Lowville and Carthage Plank- Road," inspected Au- 
gust 4, 1849. The " Carthage and Antwerp Plank-Road," 
inspected November 13, 1849. The " Sterlingbash and 
North Wilna Plank-Road," just built, and connecting the 
last road with the village of Louisburgh, or Sterlingbush, 
in Lewis county, — the articles of association dated May 10, 
1853. The " G-ouverneur, Somerville, and Antwerp Plank- 
Road ;" five miles, seventy-two chains, and seventy links 
of this road in this county ; inspected November 14, 1849. 
A continuous line of plank-roads connect this with Ogdens- 
burgh. Canton, and the depot of Canton and Madrid, on the 
Northern railroad. One mile from Antwerp village this 
road connects with the " Hammond, Rossie, and Antwerp 
Plank-Road," which was formed January 23, 1850 ; seven 
miles in this county; inspected October 24, 1850; length 
twenty miles, passing through Rossie village, and connect- 
ing with the village and port of Morristown. Several very 
expensive gradings and rock-cuttings occur on this road. 
At the village of Ox Bow, in Antwerp, it connects with 
the " Evans' Mills and Ox Bow Plank-Road," seventeen 
miles long ; completed in June, 1852. The " Pamelia and 

Evans' Mills Plank-Road" continues this route to Water- 
town, nine and three-fourths miles long ; completed June 15, 
1850. Antwerp is connected with Watertown by the fol- 
lowing roads: The "Antwerp, Sterlingville, and Great 
Bend Plank-Road," twelve and three-eighths miles long; 
completed August 27, 1849. The " Watertown and Great 
Bend Plank Road," ten miles ; completed late in 1849. 

This passes through the villages of Black River and 
Felts' Mills. At the village of Great Bend this and the 
former road connect with the " Great Bend and Copen- 
hao-en Plank-Road," of which nine miles are in the county; 
completed November 31, 1849. This road passes through 
Champion village, and connects with the " Rutland and 
Champion Plank-Road," seven miles seventy-one chains 
long, which is laid on the former main road between 
Copenhagen to Watertown, to the line of the latter near the 
" Big Hill," three and one-half miles from Watertown vil- 
lage ; completed August 30, 1849. By the " Watertown 
Plank- and Turnpike-Road" this line is continued to 
Watertown village. This road, three and one-half miles 
long, was completed September 11, 1849. The " Water- 
town Central Plank-Road," two miles long, completed 
August 11, 1849, was at first designed to connect with 
other roads, forming a line of plank-roads to Syracuse, but 
the completion of the railroad has indefinitely postponed 
this plan. The "Adams and EUisburg Plank-Road," 
through these towns, was inspected June 17, 1849. It is 
continuous of roads to Syracuse, Oswego, etc. 

" The Dexter, Brownville, and Pamelia Plank-Road," five 
miles twelve chains long, connects Pamelia village with 
Dexter. It was finished October 5, 1850. It is continued 
by the " Dexter and Limerick Plank-Road" to the town-line 
of Lyme, towards Cape Vincent; completed in May, 1850. 
It also connects with the " Dexter and Hounsfield Plank- 
Road," which runs from Dexter to the Watertown and 
Sacket's Harbor road, near the latter place. It was in- 
spected August 13, 1849. 

A line of roads from Alexandria Bay to Watertown was 
projected, and mostly finished, consisting of the " Theresa 
and Alexandria Bay Plank-Road," twelve miles long; com- 
pleted December 5, 1849, and the " Theresa Plank-Road" 
towards Evans' Mills, of which about four miles were com- 
pleted July 6, 1852. The "Theresa and Clayton Plank- 
Road," between these places, was completed June 25, 1850. 
This road passes through La Fargeville. 

The completion of these roads has contributed much to 
the prosperity of the country, although some of them have 
not met the expectations of those who invested money in 
them. The railroads, finished and in progress, will so en- 
tirely supersede the use of several that they will never be 
rebuilt. As a general average they have cost about one 
thousand dollars per mile, and the companies have been 
formed in the localities directly interested in their con- 

The plank-road epidemic seems to have at one time and 
another afflicted nearly every portion of the Union ; but, 
like many other really impracticable schemes, has generally 
had only a short existence. The system has been entirely 
abandoned in Jefferson County, and most of the lines have 
been transformed into graveled or ordinary turnpikes. They 



served a useful purpose for a time, no doubt, but improved 
turnpikes, and, finally, railways, have superseded tliem, and 
they are only remembered as things of the past. 

Here and there a piece of scantling or a broken plank re- 
minds the traveler of their existence, as he rolls smoothly 
along in a comfortable carriage, or whirls swiftly by in the 
luxuriantly upholstered railway coach. 


The history of railway enterprises, connected with the 
region of northern New York, dates back to the very com- 
mencement of the system of steam land transportation in 
the United States, and forms an interesting chapter to all 
who take an interest in the improvement and progress of 
the country. The following, upon the railways of the 
county, is mostly made up from Dr. Hough's history, and 
the pamphlet, edited by Hon. Charles R. Skinner, descrip- 
tive and statistical, of Watertown. 

The people of Jefferson County early caught the spirit 
of improvement, of late years so strikingly evinced in the 
construction of railroads ; and that from Albany to Sche- 
nectady, the first one in the country, had hardly got into 
successful operation, when the project of gaining an access 
to market by this means was brought up for discussion ; 
and on the 17th of April, 1832, an act was passed incor- 
porating the 


which act was never allowed to expire, but was revived re- 
peatedly by the legislature, and, after years of patient and 
persevering effort, this tiuly beneficial road was opened. 
The company was clothed with powers to build a road from 
Rome to Watertown, and thence to the St. Lawrence, or 
Lake Ontario, or both, with a capital of $1,000,000, in 
shares of $100. Work was to commence within three, 
and end within five years. The commissioners named in 
the act were Henry H. Coffeen, Edmund Kirby, Orville 
Hungerford, and William Smith, of Jefferson County; 
Jesse Armstrong, Alvah Sheldon, Artemas Trowbridge, 
and Seth D. Roberts, of Oneida ; and Hiram Hubbell, Ben- 
jamin H. Wright, Caleb Carr, and Elisha Hart, of Oswego, 
who were to receive stock and appoint a meeting for the 
choice of thirteen directors. On May 10, 1836, this act 
was revived, and its duration extended the original term ; a 
new commission named, which, with the addition of George 
C. Sherman, was, for Jefferson County, the same as before, 
and a clause inserted requiring $i!5,000 to be expended 
within two years, and the work to be finished in four years. 
The provisions of the Attica and Buffalo railroad charter 
were made applicable to this. On May 6. 1837, the charter 
was revived and amended, by dividing into sections, of which 
thejirst extended from the lake or river to Watertown ; the 
second, from Watertown via Adams to Salmon river ; and 
the third, to Rome. The sum of $10,000 was required to 
be expended within two years ; within four years, one sec- 
tion ; within six years, the whole road was to be done. 
Clarke Rice, Hermon Cutler, and Alvah Hazen were added 
to the commissioners. On May 17, 1845, the last two acts 
were extended, and the charter continued for the original 
term ; $25,000 were required to be spent within two years. 

and the whole to be finished within four years. On the 
28th of April, 1847, the former time was extended one 
year, and the latter two years. The capital was extended 
$500,000, for the purpose of laying a heavy iron rail of at 
least fifty-six pounds to the yard. Having given a brief 
synopsis of the legislation concerning this road, we will 
now relate the progress of organization, surveys, and con- 

Nothing was attempted towards effecting the objects for 
which the company was chartered till near the time when 
it would have expired by the limitation of the act. 

A numerous and respectable meeting of citizens, from 
Jefferson and Oswego counties, was held at Pulaski, June 
27, 1836, and a committee appointed to address the public 
on the subject of the Watertown and Rome railroad. The 
principal object of this address was to impress upon the 
public mind the importance of immediate action and effi- 
cient exertion, with a view of securing these permanent 
advantages, both individually and collectively, to the country. 
A belief of the impracticability of the work had become 
prevalent, to refute which the following facts were adduced, 
which are instructive as showing the progress that had then 
been made in this line of engineering : 

"1st. Upon tho Patcrson and Jersey City H.Tilroad, sixteen miles 
long, a train, with one engine, had drawn forty passengers around 
eurves of 400 feet radius, and up grades of forty-five feet to the mile, 
at the rate of twelve miles an hour. 2d. On the Camden and Amboy 
Railroad the daily cars carried from fifty to one hundred and fifty 
passengers from twelve to fifteen miles an hour up grades of forty 
to fifty feet. 3d. On the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, an engine 
weighing seven and a half tons had drawn two cars, each thirty feet 
in length, and containing fifty passengers each, up griides of forty- 
five feet. ^th. It had been ascertained from experiment that a Balti- 
more engine weighing eight tons would draw fifty tons on a grade of 
fifty feet at the rate of ten miles nn hour. 5th. An elevation of two 
hundred and fifty-three feet per mile had been overcome by a loco- 
motive drawing a car of thirty-three passengers.'' 

A subscription was in circulation at this time to secure a 
preliminary survey ; a concession of the right-of-way was 
solicited, and the public generally was invoked to lend aid 
to this measure, so indispensable to the prosperity of the 
country. The committee were : William Smith, G. C. 
Sherman, and I. H. Bronson, of Watertown ; J. H. Wells, 
of Pulaski ; and Lemuel Freeman, of Wiliiamstown, who 
employed Mr. William Dewey to make a survey from 
Watertown to Rome, which was done with the aid of Robert 
F. Livingston and James Roberts, and the results reported 
in September, 1836. The distance of the line surveyed, 
which passed through Pulaski, was seventy-six miles, forty- 
five chains ; the cost, with the strap-rail then used, was 
estimated at $6460.29 per mile, and the whole cost, with 
nine turn-outs, $512,615.95. There was no estimate made 
of station-houses and other appendages. On August 22 
an informal meeting was held at Watertown to report the 
progress of the survey and raise means to complete it. 
The press, in reporting these proceedings, awarded especial 
and merited praise to Mr. William Smith for the energetic 
and disinterested manner in which he was engaged in this 
measure. The report of the engineer was received at 
Pulaski September 22, and a committee of three in each 
town appointed to solicit subscriptions. The zeal and ability 
with which Mr. Dewey performed this survey deserve 



especial commendation ; but the project was destined this 
time to fail in achievement, and the crisis in the money 
market, which followed in the wake of speculation that 
ensued, precluding all idea of progress, the railroad project 
was allowed to slumber for nearly ten years. 

At an early stage of these movements, an anxiety was 
felt in the towns of Brownville and Lyme, then including 
Cape Vincent, to secure the continuation of the road, and 
on May 13, 1836, an act was passed, incorporating the 
" Watertown and Cape Vincent Railroad," with a capital 
of 150,000, and the following commissioners named to re- 
ceive stock and organize the company : Jerre Carrier, 
Henry Ainsworth, Roswell T. Lee, Samuel Lockwood, Ed- 
mund Kirby, George C. Sherman, Isaac H. Bronson, and 
John Williams; who, in the fall of the same year, also em- 
ployed William Dewey to survey the line. This was accom- 
plished with the aid of Robert F. Livingston and L. N. 
Bowlsby, and estimated as feasible at 165.429.29 for grading, 
by the cheapest route ; and the total cost of grading 
and superstructure was placed at 1145,965.88. Grades 
were found not exceeding thirty-three feet per mile, and 
the distance surveyed, twenty-five miles and nineteen 
chains. Stock to the amount of the capital was nominally 
subscribed, mostly in the localities to be directly benefited, 
but nothing further was done, and this project, as distinct 
from the former, was allowed to expire. 

In 1835 a charter was granted for a railroad in Canada, 
from Hamilton to Sandwich, and from Toronto to Sarnia, 
but both charters expired, and in 1845 both wore renewed. 
In September, 1845, Sir Allen McNab procured, in Lon- 
don, subscriptions to the fornjcr of §5,500,000, of which 
1750,000 were paid down. This was the beginning of that 
system of Canadian railroads, whieli may be said to form a 
connecting link with this, by lines of steamers, and to con- 
stitute a part of the same system. 

In the spring of 1844, at a time when the attention of 
the public was not directed to this object, and it had appa- 
rently been forgotten, Mr. Dewey, who had taken an active 
part in the former surveys, began writing articles for the 
Blach River Journal, upon the advantages of railroads ; he 
endeavored to revive the public interest in this measure. 
In July, 1844, two thousand copies of a pamphlet entitled 
" Suggestions urging the construction of a Railroad from 
Rome to Watertown," were printed and distributed by him. 
The subject gradually became the topic of conversation, and 
early in 1845 a meeting was held at Cape Vincent, which, 
on May 1, was followed, by one at Mechanics' hall, in 
Watertown, at which a committee of correfpondence was 
chosen, and the delegation from the county in the le<nsla- 
ture were instructed to use their influence in seeurino- a re- 
newal of the charter. Meetings were soon after held at 
other places, which passed strong resolutions, and numerous 
committees were appointed to excite public attention to the 
object. On the 19th of September, pursuant to a call 
signed by two hundred influential citizens of Kingston, a 
meeting was held in that city, at which the mayor, Thom'as 
H. Robinson, presided. The propo.sed railroad to Rome ' 
met with the cordial approbation of the meeting, and a 
proposition was entertained for procuring a charter for the 
Wolf Island, Kingston and Toronto Railroad, to form, with 

one from the latter place to Sandwich, a continuous line to 
Detroit. The subscriptions to stock having amounted to 
$925,000, and as the charter of the road would expire in 
May following, the commissioners issued a circular, De- 
cember 26, 1846, calling upon stockholders for authority to 
transfer their subscriptions to sections Nos. 1 and 2, from 
Cape Vincent to Salmon river, not with a view of construct- 
ing these first, but to enable the company to organize and 
choose directors, by whom the afikirs of the road could be 
more effectually managed. No intention was expressed of 
commencing work on the road until enough was secured to 
complete it. 

On February 10, 1847, a numerous and enthusiastic rail- 
road meeting met at the Universalist church, Watertown. 
Spirited addresses were made, and a series of forcible reso- 
lutions passed in favor of the speedy commencement of the 

In March, 1847, it was announced that a sufficient 
amount of stock had been taken, or transferred, to build 
sections one and two, and on April 6 the stockholders 
completed their organization by electing the following per- 
sons directors, viz. : S. N. Dexter, Clarke Rice, William C. 
Pierrepont, Robert B. Doxtater, John H. Whipple, Orville 
Hungerford, Norris M. VVoodrufi^, William Smith, S. Buck- 
ley, Edmund Kirby, Jerre Carrier, Thcophilus Peugnet, and 
Clarke Rice. 

Orville Hungerford was chosen president, Clarke Rice 
secretary, and Orville ^V. Brainard treasurer. 

Immediately after their election, the directors proceeded to 
obtain a renewal of the charter, with leave to increase their 
capital, for the purpose of laying a heavier rail than was 
originally intended. A committee was sent to Boston and 
New York to solicit stock, but mostly without success, and 
a new effort was made at home. The proposed advantages 
of the road to the country were eloquently set forth in a 
circular by the directors, dated August 20, 1847, and an 
urgent appeal made to the public for aid. The sum of 
1150,000 was at this time needed. A sufficient sum having 
been subscribed to save the charter, a meeting of the stock- 
holders was held at the court-house on March 21, 1848. 
After several addresses by those who had been actively en- 
gaged in prosecuting the work, Mr. Lord, from the com- 
mittee on resolutions, reported as follows : 

" Whereas, subscriptions for stock in the Watevtown, Kome and 
Capo Vincent Railroad have been obtained, sufficient in amount to 
authorize the organization of the entire lino, thus dispensing with 
the division into sections; and whereas, the stocliholders. consider 
this contemplated improvement of vital importance to the northern 
section of the State, through which it will pass, and that the business 
from tho country, from the laltes and from Canada, which will bo 
drawn to it, must render the stock valuable ; therefore, 

•' Resohed, That the entire line of tho road, from Rome to Cape Vin- 
cent, be considered one and indivisible, and that the faith of this 
company is pledged to use all lawful and proper means for its speedy 
completion; and that the directors be, and they are hereby requested 
to pass a resolution, fixing the northern terminus of the road at Cape 
Vincent, and enter the same in tho books of the company. 

" Resohed, That the directors proceed without delay to the speedy 
construction of said road, as indicated by the charter, from Rome to 
Cape Vincent. 

" Resolved, That we will sustain said directors, in prosecuting such 
project, to our utmost liabilities, and with all our influence, and 
that we will e.xert every effort in our power to aid them in procuring 



the balance of means requisite to tlie full accomjjlishment of said 

" Resolne.d, That in commenoing a work of such magnitude, in an- 
ticipation of the great benefits which must result to our agricultural, 
manufacturing, and other interests, we should not hesitate nor permit 
seeming difKoulties to retard our progress, but pkesevere until all 
obstacles are overcome and the road completed.'' 

These resolutions were enthusiastically passed. 

On April 2-1:, 1848, the directors employed Isaac W. 
Crane, of Troy, a civil engineer, to ro-survey the route, who, 
the same day, organized three parties, under the charge of 
Charles F. Smith, Octave Blanc, and Henry Van Vleck, 
and about the middle of July the field work of the survey 
was completed. The summit was found to be only one 
hundred and ninety feet above Rome, the heaviest grades 
towards the south being thirty, and towards the north 
thirty-five feet per mile. The estimated cost of superstruc- 
ture was $6062.40 per mile, and the total of grading, 
bridging, and fencing, $442,940.62. The entire cost of 
the road, including engines, cars, depots, land, damages, 
etc., was estimated at $1,250,620. 

The viewing committee of the County Agricultural 
Society, in their report of September, 1848, say of the 
vast importance of this road, — 

" The farming and other interests are at this time making vigorous 
efforts to raise funds to construct a railroad from Cape Vincent to 
Rome. We are fully satisfied of its practicability, and feel safe in 
saying that now is the time to put forth united efforts for securing 
this all-important object. We arc too apt to act as though our influ- 
ence was of no account in the accomplishment of great public im- 
provements. Is it estimated that there are seven hundred and twenty 
thousand acres in the county of Jefferson. It is not a low estimate 
to make the benefits of the road, if it were constructed, to reckon the 
increased value of the products of the soil for the first five years at 
one dollar per acre. Is it too much to calculate ihat by the first five 
years' operation of the road, the value of the soil will be increased 
one dollar per acre? Now add the increased value of the first five 
years' products of the soil ($720,000) to the increased value of the 
soil ($720,000), and we have §1,440,000, an amount sufficient to con- 
struct the entire road. But it is thought, by those competent to 
judge, that if $500,000 were subscribed in this county, the remainder 
could be easily obtained in the cities. Farmers of Jefferson! can we 
long slumber when such high interests are at stake, and neglect to 
come forth with united strength and reap the golden harvest that 
already waves in the breeze ? Already a favorable charter is secured ; 
capable and faithful officers are elected; over $300,000 of the stock 
is taken in the county. All we now lack is at once to take an amount 
of stock equal to the direct and immediate benefit we shall receive, 
and its speedy construction is rendered certain.'' 

In November, 1848, work was commenced at Rome, and 
soon after at other important points, and the road was so 
far completed as to allow the passage of trains to Camden 
in the tall of 1849. On April 10, 1851, the Hon. Wm. 
C. Pierrepont was chosen president, in place of Orville 
Hungerford, deceased, and on the same day a resolution was 
passed for extending a branch of the road, from the located 
line up the river-bank, into the village of Watertown. 

On the 28th of May, 1851, the road was completed to 
Pierrepont Manor, and a large party from Watertown, 
Rome, and other sections, assembled to celebrate the era of 
the entrance of the first railroad train into Jefferson County. 

The first engine reached Watertown, September 5, at 
eleven o'clock in the night, and on the 24th of the same 
month its completion to that place was again celebrated 

with festivities. On the 20th of November it was finished 
to Chaumont, and in April, 1852, to Cape Vincent; the 
cars commencing regular trips on the 1st of May. 

The contract for building the road was taken by Phelps, 
Matoon, and Barnes, of Springfield, Massachusetts. The 
rails are from the manufactory of Guest & Co., Wales, and 
not a single bar has broken since the road has been in 

The company, to obtain the means of completing the 
road, has issued three classes of bonds, the first on the 1st 
of July, 1850, for $400,000, payable from 1858 to 1868, 
at the rate of $40,000 a year; the second, July 1, 1851, 
of $250,000, one-half of which has been converted into 
stock ; and the third, of $200,000, which was soon after 
converted into stock. 


In April, 1852, as before stated, the railway was com- 
pleted and put in operation from Watertown to Cape Vin- 
cent, twenty-five miles. The total length of the entire 
line was ninety-seven and a half miles, and its total cost 

On the 8th of January, 1852, a company was organized 
to construct a road from Watertown to Potsdam Junction, 
a point on the Vermont Central Railroad, which latter ex- 
tends from Ogdensburgh to Rouse's Point, at the foot of 
Lake Champlain. The Potsdam branch, seventy-six miles 
in length, was completed in 1854, and up to 1860 was 
called the " Potsdam and Watertown Railroad." In the 
last-mentioned year it came into the possession of the 
Watertown and Rome Railroad Company. In 1861-62 
the latter company put down a track from De Kalb Junc- 
tion, a point on the Potsdam and Watertown road, to Og- 
densburgh, a distance of nineteen miles, and the roads were 
consolidated and the names changed by the legislature to 
the " Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburgh Railroad Com- 

In 1806 the " Oswego and Rome Railroad," extending 
from Oswego eastward twenty-nine miles to Richland, on 
the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburgh Railroad, was put 
in operation and leased to the last-named road. 

" The Syracuse Northern Railroad," extending from that 
city forty-five miles to Sandy Creek Junction, on the Rome, 
Watertown and Ogdensburgh Railroad, was completed in 
1870, and in 1875 was consolidated with the main line. 

" The Lake Ontario Shore Railroad," running from Os- 
wego west to Charlotte (Rochester's port of entry) to its 
western terminus at Lewiston, on the Niagara river, one 
hundred and fifty miles, was also merged in the Rome, 
Watertown and Ogdensburgh Railroad, in January, 1875. 

The consolidated lines make up an aggregate of four 
hundred and seventeen miles now under the control of the 
Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburgh Railroad Company, 
and forming one of the three most important lines of busi- 
ness in the State, and one of great value to the people of 
the northern and western countits. 

It taps the great mining regions of this section, which it 
has aided very materially in developing, traverses one of 
the finest agricultural portions of the State, accommodates 
extensive lumber districts, draws largely from Canada on 



the north, and reaches into the coal regions of Pennsyl- 

The country through which it passes is generally well 
settled and comparatively prosperous. It serves directly 
the cities of Watertown, Rome, Oswego, Syracuse, and 
Ogdensburgh, and many thriving towns and villages along 
its lines. Since 1852 it has paid in dividends nearly three 
million dollars. Its capital stock is $3,147,500. The 
annual report for 1875 shows the following classes and 
amounts of transportation : 

Forest products 77 734 

Animals 18^780 

Vegetable food 74 (340 

Other agricultural products 11 795 

Manufactures 47 927 

Merchandise 3o'364 

Other articles II5 392 

Total . 


Among the important items were 45,989 tons of lumber, 
7608 tons of cheese, and 4169 tons of butter. In 1873 
there were 81,509 tons of iron ore transported over the 
road. The number of passengers in 1875 was 564,200. 

During the summer season the road maintains a line of 
steamers from Cape Vincent down the St. Lawrence river, 
among the Thousand Islands, to Clayton, Fisher's Landing, 
and Alexandria Bay. The travel in this direction in the 
warm season is extensive, and annually increasing. 

For the fiscal year,— October 1, 1876, to September 30, 
1877,— number of tons (of 2000 pounds) of freight carried 
in cars, classified, were as follows : 

Products of the forest 75 g^g j^^^^ 

l^roducts of animals 24 112 " 

Vegetable food ...'.!.!...'. 82999 " 

Other agricultural products 19 iS'i " 

Manufactures .■":.■.'.■.■.■.■'.".■..::::: 25;673 " 

Merchandise 31^12 " 

Other articles •'■'..'..'"!.'.'.'.'.'.'.'."..'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.' Ifl7,'390 " 


Total movement of freight, or number of tons carried 
one mile, 26,732,738. 


The first President and Superintendent was Orville Hun- 
gerford, who died before the completion of the road. The 
succeeding Presidents have been, Hon. William C. Pierre- 
pont, Marcellus Massey, and Samuel Sloan. The Superin- 
tendents succeeding Mr. Hungerford have been, Robert 
Doxtater, Job Collamer, Carlos Button, Addison Day C 
C. Case, and J. W. Moak. 

The present officers are aa follows: President, Samuel 
Sloan; Vice-President, Marcellus Massey ; Superintendent 
E. W. & 0. Division, J. W. Moak; Superintendent L. 
& S. N. Division, E. A. Van Home; General Freight 
Agent, E. M. Moore; General Ticket Agent, H. T. Frary; 
Treasurer, J. A. Lawyer; Directors, Marcellus Massey! 
Moses Taylor, Samuel Sloan, C. Zabriskie, William E 
Dodge, P. R. Pyne, John S. Barnes, G. Colby, J. S. Far- 
low, T. H. Camp, S. D. Hungerford, William M. White 
Jheodore Irwin. ' 

The general offices of the company are located in Water- 
town, where, also, the road has large workshops, which give 

employment to over one hundred men. The total employees 
on the whole line number about twelve hundred men. 

The equipment of the road consists of 55 locomotives 
50 passenger-coaches, 24 baggage and express, and 1200 

The Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburgh Railway, as now 
operated, with all its combinations, oiFers advantao-es and 
facilities for shipment which are unsurpassed. It reaches 
the New York Central road at two important points Rome 
and Syracuse. At the 'former city extensive docks have 
been constructed on the Erie canal. It has two termini on 
the St. Lawrence river, — Cape Vincent and Ogdensburgh 
— at both of which points it owns superior and well- 
arranged docks, and has close ferry connections with Kings- 
ton and Prescott. The former is the terminus of the Kin<^- 
ton and Pembroke railway, which, when completed, will' 
bring from one of the finest lumber regions of the conti- 
nent the productions of that section. Prescott is the 
southern terminus of the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rail- 
road, from which vast quantities of freight are received. 
It touches two important points on Lake Ontario viz. 
Oswego and Charlotte, near Rochester ; and Lewiston, on 
the Niagara river. At Oswego the road owns valuable 
dock privileges. Here is also a bridge over the Oswego 
river, completed April 6, 1876. The completion of this 
bridge, with the opening of the road to Suspension Bridge, 
June 12, 1876, and the completion of the few remaining 
miles of the Portland and Ogdensburgh Railroad, will open 
a direct line from Portland, Maine, to San Francisco, accom- 
modating with immense advantages a large and productive 
territory in the northern part of the Union heretofore un- 
supplied, and not wholly developed. 

The following statistical table gives the principal data 
concerning this road. It is derived from the official map 
deposited in the State engineer's office : 


Miles of 

Cape Vincent... 


Brown ville 





Sandy Creek... 



Williamstowu .. 





Total 95.72S3 



84 590 

Length in Miles of Grades. 


















Elevation above («e._Romc, 442 foot; Annsville, 430.24; Fish 
Crook (bridge), Taborg Station, 416.44; McCounollsvillo, 482; Cam- 
den, 523.6; West Camden, 538; WiUiamstown, 682.86; Kassoag, 
625.36; Sand Banks, 580 ; Pinoville, 546; ControviUe, 552.2; Rich- 
land Depot, 524.3; Sandy Crook, 566.9; Pierrepont Manor, 587.8; 
Adams, 596; Centre, 600; Watertown, 409.8; Black River Bridge, 
401; BrownviUe, 327.5; Limerick, 322.3; Chnumont, 289.2; Chaii- 
inont Bridge, 269; Three-Milo Bay, 306.3; St. Lawrence river, at 
Cipe Vincent, 260 feet. Upon Burr's State map the elevation of 



Lako Ontario, above tide, is stated to be 234 feet, while tlie recent 
Canadian railroad surveys make 238J feet. 


The history of the preliminary operations looking to the 
construction of a road from a point on the Erie canal to 
Ogdensburgh via the Black River valley is so interesting 
that we make the following extracts from Dr. Hough's well- 
written account, as given in his history of Jeiferson County : 

In December, 1852, the plan of a railroad, from some 
point on the central line through the Black River valley to 
the St. Lawrence, began to be discussed, and a meeting was 
held at Lowville, January 8, 1853. A committee of five 
persons in each county interested was appointed to collect 
statistics and facts to report to future meetings, of which 
one was appointed at Theresa on the 20th and another at 
Boonville on the 26th of the same month. 

The meeting at Boonville was attended by those repre- 
senting the claims of Herkimer, Utica, and Rome, for the 
southern terminus, but the weight of interests represented 
was in favor of the first of these, and a company was formed 
Tinder the name of the " Black River Railroad Company," 
with a capital of $1,200,000, for the purpose of building a 
road from Clayton, on the St. Lawrence, by way of Car- 
thage and the west side of the Black river, to the valley 
of West Canada creek to Herkimer, a distance of about 
one hundred and twenty miles. The directors named were 
Benjamin Carver, Harvey Doolittle, and Linus Yale, of Her- 
kimer county ; Jonah Howe, Matthew Beecher, and Philip 
M. Schuyler, of Oneida county ; Ela Merriam, Seth Miller, 
Moses M. Smith, "Wm. L. Easton, and John Benedict, of 
Lewis county ; and Samuel J. Davis and Lewis T. Ford, 
of Jefferson County. 

It may be here noticed that, seventeen years previous 
(May 21, 1836), a company of the same name had been 
chartered by a special act to build a road from Clayton to 
Carthage. A preliminary survey was made the same year 
by R. F. Livingston; the route passed through Evan's 
Mills and La Fargeville, was thirty-one miles in length, and 
was estimated to cost $226,015.62. Nothing but a survey 
was attempted. This effort on the part of Herkimer im- 
mediately excited a spirit of rivalry at Utica and Rome, 
and three days after the Boonville meeting the " Black 
River and Utica Railroad Company" was organized, with a 
capital of $1,000,000, for the purpose of building a road 
from that city to Clayton, a distance of about one hundred 
miles. The directors named were T. S. Faxton, Spencer 
Kellogg, John Butterfield, Martin Hart, Alfred Churchill, 
James V.'P. Gardiner, Benjamin F. Ray, James S. Lynch, 
Wm. H. Terry, Hugh Crocker, Harvey Barnard, Jonathan 
R. Warner, and John D. Leland, all of Utica, except the 
last-named, who is of Deerfield. T. S. Faxton was chosen 
president, and J. S. Lynch secretary. Daniel C. Jennewas 
employed to survey a route, and report the proper estimates 

of cost. 

On the 8th of March a meeting was held at Lowville, at 
which a committee of three from each town, interested in 
the line from Boonville to the St. Lawrence, was appointed 
to examine the claims of the three southern points. Mr. 
Jenne reported the results of a survey from Utica to Boon- 

ville, and estimated the cost, with equipment, at $20,000 
per mile ; and Mr. Octave Blanc, who had been engaged on 
a preliminary survey for Rome, also reported the result of 
his operation south of Boonville ; and Mr. Wooster, of 
Herkimer, read the survey made by Mr. Jervis, in 1837, for 
the Herkimer and Trenton railway. 

After hearing these several reports, the general commit- 
tee found themselves unable to decide the question, and 
appointed a sub-committee of eight, consisting of A. H. 
Barnes, of Martinsburgh ; A. Joy, of Clayton ; H. Dewey, 
of Orleans ; Wm. L. Easton. of Lowville ; Ela Merriam, of 
Leyden ; N. IngersoU, of Le Ray ; S. Sylvester, of Copen- 
hagen ; and A. A. Goodale, of West Turin, to visit these 
several places proposed as points of junction with the cen- 
tral road, and report at the meeting to be adjourned to Car- 
thage on the 22d instant. . . . The committee of eight 
reported that, having met and organized at Rome on the 
14th, they resolved upon a series of questions to be pro- 
posed to the railroad committees of Rome, Utica, and Her- 
kimer, to ascertain the cost per acre of fifteen or twenty 
acres for a depot, and the amount of stock that would be 
pledged for each by persons south of Boonville. It was 
found that a connection could readily be obtained with the 
central road, and a spirit of liberality and accommodation 
was evinced by the officers of that line. 

At Rome a delegation presented the claims and prefer- 
ences of that place ; stated that the requisite amount of 
land could be bought at a price not exceeding $250 per 
acre, and pledged at least $300,000 in private subscriptions, 
besides what might be obtained from the village corpora- 
tion, which it was supposed would amount to $150,000 

At Utica, the committee found that a suflBcient quantity 
of depot ground could be purchased on the canal at $200 
per acre. The sum of $250,000 was guaranteed by indi- 
viduals of Utica, and $100,000 was expected to be raised 
between that city and Boonville. A further sum from pri- 
vate means of $50,000, and $250,000 more from city bonds, 
was also expected, making $650,000. 

The committee also visited Herkimer, but, as it was un- 
derstood that that place had withdrawn its claims for the 
terminus, and that the company had been disbanded, no 
report was made upon that station. These facts the sub- 
committee submitted without expressing their preference of 
the claims of either. The general committee was in ses- 
sion two days at Carthage, engaged in discussing the merits 
of the rival stations, but the two-third rule which they had 
imposed upon themselves prevented the requisite majority 
from being obtained. The first ballot was 22 for Utica, 22 
for Rome, and 2 for Herkimer ; and Rome afterwards gained 
a small majority; but finding it impossible to agree the com- 
mittee was discharged, and an association, styled the " Og- 
densburgh, Clayton, and Rome Railroad Company," was 
immediately announced as in the field, and pledged to build 
a road from Rome to Denmark, and thence to the St. Law- 
rence, at Morristown and Ogdensburgh, with a branch to 
Clayton. The Ogdensburgh and Clayton Railroad Com- 
pany was formed February 19, 1853, with a capital of 
$2,000,000, and the following directors, viz. : Henry A. 
Foster, John Stryker, Edward Huntington, and Alva 



Mudge, of Rome ; Elijah B. Allen and Henry Van Rens- 
selaer, of Ogdensburgh ; Augustus Chapman, of Mor- 
ristown ; Wm. L. Easton, of Lowville ; Seth Miller, of 
West Turin ; Alanson H. Barnes, of Martinsburg ; Sidney 
Sylvester, of Denmark ; Samuel J. Davis, of Wilna ; and 
Jason Clark, of Plessis. Henry A. Foster was chosen 
president ; Elijah B. Allen, vice-president ; James L. Leo- 
nard, of Lowville, treasurer ; Roland S. Doty, of Rome, 
secretary ; and Octave Blanc, engineer. 

At a meeting held at Watertown, April 21, a code of 
by-laws was adopted, and the following resolutions passed : 

"Resolved, That it is our intention to construct a railroad, from the 
central line of railroad and Erie canal, in the Tillage of Rome, to the 
river St. Lawrence, in the village of Clayton, and also to said river 
St. Lawrence, in the village of Ogdensburgh, and touching the river 
at Morristown, so as to connect with the Northern Ogdensburgh Rail- 
road, and the Grand Trunk Railroad, the By Town and Prescott 
Railroad, and the proposed Pembroke and Brockville Railroad in 

"Resolved, That in lowness of summit, easy grade, cheapness in 
cost of construction, facility of connection with the central line of 
railroad, and the Erie canal, and in having its termination at such 
points as to command the business of the country, and of Canada, 
this road has decided advantages over any other proposed line of 
railroad from the St. Lawrence river to the said central line and canal, 
atid can and will be hnSlt ; and that we unanimously pledge ourselves 
to the stockholders and to each other to push forward the enterprise 
to completion and without delay." 

This claim of superiority is, of course, contested by the 
rival route, as well as that now finished. The plan of con- 
necting Ogdensburgh with some other road, by a line south- 
west from that place, had come up for discussion while the 
Potsdam and Watertown Railroad was in course of organi- 
zation, but nothing was then effected. It was next pro- 
posed to connect that place with the road last named, in the 
town of DeKalb, but the present project has superseded 

Both the Utica and the Rome routes have been surveyed 
and located, and the most active efforts have been made to 
secure subscriptions along the lines of each, which, from 
Boonville to Theresa, a distance of about sixty miles, nearly 
coincide, and repeatedly cross each other. Both routes 
have been let to responsible parties, and subscriptions suffi- 
cient to warrant the undertaking have been secured by 

An act was passed May 27, 1853, making it lawful for 
the common council of the city of Utica to borrow, on the 
faith and credit of that city, any sum of money not exceed- 
ing 1250,000, for a term not exceeding twenty years, for 
the purpose of aiding the construction of this road. A 
similar power wa.s granted to the trustees of the village of 
Rome, to the extent of raising 1150,000, for the Ogdens- 
burgh, Carthage and Rome Railroad, the bonds to bear the 
corporate seal of the village, and their management to be 
intrusted to Roland S. Doty, Harvey Brayton, William L. 
Howland, Gordon L. Bissell, and Eri Seymour, who were 
styled the " Commissioners of the Railroad Fund of Rome." 
Both of these acts have since been confirmed by lar"-e 
majorities at elections held for that purpose.* 

The ceremony of breaking ground for the Black River 

••■■- The vole at Rome stood 450 to 1, in favor. 

and Utica Railroad took place at Utica, August 27, at 
which addresses were delivered by Governor Seymour, ex- 
Governor Hunt, and other distinguished gentlemen, and 
the occasion was celebrated by military parade and general 
festivities. This road was contracted August 10, to be 
graded in 1854. The Rome road was let November 7, to 
be graded and ready for the superstructure September 1, 

The Utica and Black River Railway was opened to 
Booneville, Oneida county, a distance of thirty-five miles, in 
1855. In 1868 the line was put in operation to Lowville, 
the present county-seat of Lewis county, a farther distance 
of twenty-four miles. In 1872 it reached Carthage, six- 
teen miles farther. The original plan to construct a line to 
Clayton, Morristown, and Ogdensburgh, on the St. Law- 
rence river, was not immediately carried out. While the 
division between Lowville and Carthage was in course of 
construction, a company was organized in Watertown, under 
the title of " Carthage, Watertown and Sacket's Harbor 
Railroad Company," and a road constructed in 1872, from 
Watertown to Carthage, eighteen miles, which was com- 
pleted about the time the Utica and Black River Com- 
pany reached the same point. Upon the completion of 
the road from Watertown to Carthage, it was leased to the 
Utica and Black River Company. In 1873 the latter 
company extended a line to Clayton, and in 1874 the Car- 
thage, Watertown and Sacket's Harbor Company com- 
pleted a road from Watertown to Sacket's Harbor, which 
was in the same year leased to the main line. 


The first step in this important line of road was taken on 
the 29th of January, 1870, when a public meeting was 
called at Morristown to take the matter into consideration. 
Other meetings were held soon after at Hammond Corners, 
Redwood, and Theresa, to feel the public pulse, and test the 
feasibility of procuring aid in the way of private subscrip- 
tions, and by means of corporation bonds. 

On March 22, 1870, articles of association were filed with 
the secretary of State. The capital stock was fixed at 
$600,000, and Philadelphia, in Jefferson County, and Mor- 
ristown, in St. Lawrence county, were made the tei-mini of 
the road. The length of the proposed line was thirty-seven 

Individual subscriptions to the amount of $40,000 were 
soon raised, and all of the towns on the line executed and 
exchanged their bonds for stock in the company. The 
various amounts were as follows: Philadelphia, 115,000; 
Theresa, $60,000 ; Alexandria, $60,000 ; Hammond,. 
$60,000 ; Morristown, $20,000. 

A portion of the tax-psiyers of the towns of Hammond 
and Morristown contested the legality of the acts bonding 
their respective towns, and upon a final submission of the 
matter to the court of appeals the acts as concerning tliese 
two towns were set aside. Subsequently, in the spring of 
1872, the State legislature ratified the acts of these towns, 
and confirmed the validity of their bonds which had been 
issued and delivered to the company. This legislative ac- 
tion settled all questions as to the validity of the bonds, imd 
put a stop to all further contention. 



On April 18, 1870, the directors named in the articles 
of association met at Redwood, and completed the organiza- 
tion of the company. David Bearup, of Theresa, was 
elected ^President, which office he still holds; and Hon. W. 
W. Butterfield, of Redwood, was elected Secretary and 
Treasurer. Henry S. "White, of Redwood, subsequently 
succeeded Mr. Butterfield as Secretary and Treasurer, and 
was in turn succeeded by Aifred A. Holmes, the present 

The company proceeded at once to make a preliminary 
survey of the route, and in September, 1870, contracted 
with Harry Abbott and William Ellis for the entire con- 
struction of the road. The contractors entered upon the 
work about the 20 th of September of the same year, but, 
after doing considerable grading and bridging, abandoned 
the work in the fall of 1871. The company proceeded 
with the construction, and on the 9th of December, 1872, 
the road was opened for traffic from Philadelphia to Theresa, 
a distance of eight miles, and by the last of October, 1873, 
the work was nearly completed. On the 29th of October 
of this year the company contracted with the Utica and 
Black River Railway Company to complete the road, giving 
that company the use of the road for eight years, and trans- 
ferring to them the unexpended balance of $500,000 in 
bonds issued by the Black River and Morristown Company. 
Under this contract the road was completed and opened to 
Redwood in November, 1874, and to Morristown in 
November, 1875. The bonded debt of the company is 
$500,000 ; the amount of stock, $371,000 ; and they have 
no floating debt. 

The total length of the road, including its branches, is 
one hundred and sixty-nine miles. It passes near the 
ShurtlifF iron-ore beds and through a thickly-settled and 
prosperous region. 

The business of this road for 1875, the last report we 
have, is indicated by the following statement showing the 
tonnage : 


Products of the forest 14,802 

Animals .' 9,533 

Vegetable food 11,939 

Other agricultural products 11,840 

Manufactures 22,216 

Merchandise 12,288 

Miscellaneous 22,456 

Total 105,074 

Passengers carried in 1875 245,847 

This road connects at Utica with the New York Central 
Railway, the Midland Railway, the Utica, Clinton and 
Binghamton Railway, and the Delaware, Lackawanna and 
Western Railway, giving direct communication with the 
anthracite coal-fields of Pennsylvania. 

Its two termini on the St. Lawrence give it facilities for 
a large Canadian trade from Gananoque and Brockville, 
both located on the Grand Trunk Railway of the Dominion. 
Brockville is also the terminus of the Brockville and Ot- 
tawa Railway, and of the Rideau Canal, both connecting 
with extensive timber districts. 

At Sacket's Harbor the road has superior advantages for 
the transhipment of grain and lumber from the west. At 
all the northern terminiit has excellent shipping advantages. 

At Carthage and Utica it connects with the Black River 

Officers. — The present officers of the company are : Pres- 
ident, De Witt C. West, of Lowville ; Vice-President, John 
Thorn ; Treasurer, Isaac Maynard ; Secretary, W. E. Hop- 
kins ; General Superintendent, J. F. Maynard ; General 
Ticket Agent, Theodore Butterfield ; General Freight 
Agent, Charles liackett ; Directors, James Sayre, T. S. 
Faxton, E. A. Graham, I. Maynard, R. Wheeler, John 
Thorn, William J. Bacon, L. Lawrence, A. J. Williams, 
A. G. Brower, all of Utica; D. C. West, Lowville; D. B. 
Goodwin, Waterviile ; and R. L. Kennedy, of New York. 

An account of the old Sacket's Harbor and Ellisburg 
Railroad will be found in the history of the respective 
townships through which it passed. This road ran from 
Pierrepont Slanor to Sacket's Harbor, a distance of eighteen 
miles, and was opened for traffic June 1, 1853, and con- 
tinued to be operated until 1862, when for various reasons 
it was abandoned, and the people of Sacket's Harbor were 
without railway facilities until the opening of the branch 
of the Utica and Black River Railway in 1875. 

A company called the Sacket's Harbor and Saratoga 
Railroad Company was incorporated in April, 1848, for the 
purpose of building a road from the first-named point via 
Watertown, Carthage, and Castorville, and through the 
wilderness to Saratoga, and eventually to Boston, Massa- 
chusetts. A portion of the eastern end has been completed 
from Saratoga to Johnsburgh, in Warren county. 


The first line of telegraph was put in operation in 1850, 
under the name of O'Reiley's Merchants' Line, operating 
upon the Bain principle. It was erected along the stage- 
road from Oswego via Pulaski, Adams, Watertown, and 
Theresa, to Ogdensburgh, at each of which points offices 
were opened. The line was soon afterwards purchased by 
the Morse line, and operated under Professor Morse's prin- 
ciple. During the summer of 1853 a telegraph was built 
by citizens of Sacket's Harbor along the direct plank -road 
from Watertown to that place. 

About 1860 the Montreal Telegraph Company estab- 
lished their lines on the south side of the St. Lawrence, 
and about 1870 bought out the United States Telegraph 
Company, then operating in Jefferson County ; and since 
that time have been doing business in this region. The 
principal office of the company is at Montreal, and they 
have a capital of two million dollars, and connect with all 
portions of the United States and with the cable companies 
throughout the world. 

This company is connected with all the railway lines in 
the county except the Utica and Black River, and all the 
railway business is done by them, including the running of 

The Dominion Telegraph Company, whose headquarters 
are located at Toronto, commenced business in Jefierson 
County about 1872. Their lines generally follow the main 
turnpike-roads, and they have offices at all principal points. 

Both the Canadian lines make connections with Amer- 
ican lines at Oswego. The Utica and Black River Railway 
Company operate an independent line. 




Although this channel of communication has, since the 
era of railways, become of less importance than formerly, 
and may eventually be abandoned as a means of travel and 
transportation, yet its importance when first projected, and 
for some time subsequent to its completion, makes its history 
a necessity in this connection. 

The chapter given in Dr. Hough's work, compiled from 
the State engineer's reports, arrd other authentic sources, is 
so complete and exhaustive that we give it nearly entire : 

" The incorporation of a company for improving the navigation of 
Black river to Brownville village has been noticed. The river was 
declared a public highway from High Falls to Carthage, by an act 
passed March 16, 1821, which also authorized road commissioners to 
forbid the crossing of bridges faster than a walli, within fifty miles 
of its mouth. On the 28th of March, 1828, the 'Black River Canal 
Company' was formed. This company organized, and caused a sur- 
vey of a canal to be made, from Home to the High Falls, by Alfred 
Cruger, but did nothing more. This may be considered the first step 
towards the Black River canal. . . . The former act having expired, 
another was passed, April 17, 1832, incorporating the Black River 
company for the purpose of connecting, by railroad or canal, the Erie 
canal, at Rome or Herkimer, with Ogdensburgh, Cape Vincent, or 
Sacket's Harbor, including the improvement of Black river, from 
the High Falls to Carthage, for steam navigation. The capital was 
limited to $900,000, in shares of $50 each. . . . The persons named 
in the act were Vincent le Ray de Chaumont, Eli West, Samuel 
Allen, Ela Collins, John W. Martin, Jerro Carrier, Elisha Camp, 
John Brown, Abram Parish, Charles A. Mann, George Varigh, Ralph 
Clapp, John Felt, Isaac W. Bostwick, Homer Collins, James Mc- 
Vickar, Peter Schuyler, George Brayton, and Benjamin P. Johnson. 
This comjjany was so far organized as to build a steamboat on Black 
river, at Carthage, which was called the ' Cornelia.' It was built, in 
]832. by Paul Boynton, for the company, at a cost of $6000, with a 
keel ninety feet long, and a breadth across the guards of twenty-two 
feet. She had two upright high-pressure engines of ten horse-power 
each, built by N. Starbuck & Son, of Troy. Being found to draw 
too much water, one engine was taken out. The first trip was Sep- 
tember 22, 1832, to Lowville, where she grounded, and was got off 
with much ditficulty. The boat continued to run the ensuing season 
to the High Falls, with an hourly speed of si.x and one-half miles, 
frequently getting aground, and proving to be too large for the river, 
and, eventually, nearly a total loss to the proprietors, of whom Mr. 
Le Ray was the principal. 

"A thrilling incident occurred on the first trip of this boat to the 
Falls. The man at the tiller wishing to show the party on board 
and the spectators on shore the qualities of his craft, steered up so 
near under the falls, that, as he turned, the spray from the torrent 
deluged the deck, and the boat itself came within a few feet of being 
brought under the fall. Fortunately there was a heavy pressure of 
steam up at the moment, and they escaped with a thorough drench- 
ing. This attempt proved the practicability of navigating the river 
forty-two and a half miles; but no subsequent attempt was made 
until the summer of 3853, when the ' Enterprise,' a canal-boat, tem- 
porarily fitted up by G. H. Gould for the purpose, with a stern-wheel, 
was rigged out at the High Falls, and made a few trips. 

" On the 22d of April, 1834, an act was passed authorizing the sur- 
vey of a canal, from below the High F.alls to the Erie canal, with a 
navigable feeder, and an improvement of the river to Carthage. 
Having ascertained the feasibility of this route, on the 19th of April, 
1836, an act was passed providing for the construction of the Black 
River Canal, and Erie Canal Feeder, of which the river was to be a 
part. Work was soon after commenced, and more or less, except 
during the " suspension," prosecuted since, till at present wo almost 
realize this long-expected and long-deferred communication with the 
great market", which, from being anticipated by railroads, will pos- 
sess much less importance than was formerly attached to it. Still, 
for the lumber and mineral products of a portion of the county it 
will afford a valuable exit, and will contribute to the public welfare.* 
" Many interesting topographical details have been obtained in the 

■» Written about 1853. 

course of these surveys which possess permanent interest. The fol- 
lowing is a concise description of the canals, as given in the report 
of the State engineer and surveyor for 1851 ; 

" ' This canal diverges from the Erie canal at the village of Rome, 
Oneida county, following up the valley of the Mohawk river and its 
tributary, the Lansing Kill, to the summit level, a distance of twenty- 
throe miles; thence crossing the dividing ridge between the Mohawk 
and Black rivers, about two miles, to the village of Boonville ; thence 
descends into the valley of the Black river, and at the distance of 
ten and one-third miles it enters 'said river below the High Falls, in 
the county of Lewis ; thence it follows the river, by slack-water 
navigation, a distance of forty-two and one-half miles, to the village 
of Carthage, in the county of Jefferson, making the whole length of 
the canal and river about seventy-eight miles. 

" ' A navigable feeder of ten miles in length is constructed from the 
Black river, entering the canal at the village of Boonville, which is 
designed for a. feeder to the Black River canal, and also for the Erie 
canal. Add to the canal, river, and feeder two miles of navigation 
on the reservoir above the State dam, making in all ninety miles of 
navigation when the whole work is finished. 

"'From Rome to Boonville, a distance of twenty -five miles, there 
are seventy locks, overcoming an elevation of six hundred and ninety- 
three feet. . . . From Boonville to the High Falls, a distance of ten 
and one-third miles, there are located thirty-nine locks, with a de- 
scent of three hundred and eighty-six feet. . . . 

" ' On the whole line of canal, feeder and river, there will be one 
hundred and nine looks, five aqueducts, eleven waste-weirs, eighteen 
culverts, thirty-three road-bridges, thirty-six farm-bridges, three 
change and tow-path bridges, two guard-locks, one dam and bulk- 
head, three dams, thirty-three lock-houses, six stop-gates, two draw- 
bridges, and the Delta feeder.' 

"At the time when the work was suspended, in 1842, the section 
work south of Boonville was mostly done, except on five sections; 
forty-seven locks were mostly finished, except framing and hanging 
gates, and a large amount of other work was more or less completed; 
but during the five years that the labor was suspended, a great part 
of the timber was so injured as to become almost useless. >forth of 
Boonville, about six miles of section work had been let, of which two 
were completed, and the others well advanced. Two locks were nearly 
finished, and the feeder had been about half done. Two culverts were 
built upon it, and the materials in part delivered for the guard- 
lock and dam. The value of materials on hand, at that time, was 
$60,383.86, of which $20,000 worth were made available, and the 
remainder was a loss to the State. 

" In 1851, the canal had been brought into use as far as Port Ley- 
den, and such is the forwardness of the remainder, that its completion 
to Carthage appears not distant. During the dry season of 1849, all 
the wa'er at the head of the feeder was used, and still there was a 
deficiency of 7000 cubic feet per minute. This led to apian for insur- 
ing a supply by eonstruoting dams at the outlets of some of the lakes 
above this point, which receive the drainage of many thousand acres. 

" The descent of Black river from the High Falls to Carthage is nine 
and one-quarter feet in low water, and twenty-three feet in high water; 
as at such limes the rise at the former place is twenty-two feet, and at 
Carthage but eight feet. The quantity of water passing the falls at 
its lowest stage is about 30,000 cubic feet per minute, and is not ma- 
terially increased until it receives the Otter and Independence creeks. 
Among the several plans that were proposed to improve the channel, 
that of constructing a dam and lock near Independence creek is said 
to have been decided upon. A dam is also to be built at the village 
of Carthage, a.hove the present dam, where the river is about 700 feet 
wide, and from three to four feet deep in low water, with a rook 

"In 1837, the project of extending the Black River canal from 
Carthage to Ogdensburgh, or some point on the St. Lawrence, began 
to be discussed ; and in the fall of 1838 meetings wore held at Water- 
town, Evans' Mills, Theresa, and other places. Petitions, momorialB, 
and statistics were forwarded to tho legislature, and on May 2, 1839, 
a bill was passed authorizing a survey of the several routes proposed. 
This labor was intrusted to Edward H. Brodhcad, who, in the sum- 
mer of 1839, surveyed a route from Carthage to Clayton, from Car- 
thage to Sacket's Harbor, from Carthago to Ox Bow, and thence, by 
improving the Oswegatchie to Ogdensburgh, and another branch of 

•f This dam was afterwards constructed. 



this route to Souverneur, and thence near the river to Ogdensburgh. 
By these surveys Carthago was found to be 480 feet above the lalte. 

" These surveys created a lively interest throughout the central 
and northern parts of the county, and a convention from St. Law- 
rence and a part of Jefferson counties met at Gouverneur on the 27th 
of June, 1839, at which a series of resolutions wore passed reasserting 
the claims of northern New York upon a share of the State patron- 
age, and the wants of this section for a cheap and direct access to 
market. The report of Mr. Brodhead, with an accompanying map, 
was submitted to the legislature in 1840,"^'-" and provision was made 
for the selection of one of the routes surveyed by three disinterested 
men from the 1st, 2d, 3d, or 8th senate districts; but a change of 
policy in relation to the minor public works, which also suspended 
the larger, put an end to the discussion by postponing it indefinitely. 
The experience at present had in relation to railways renders it prob- 
able that the subject of a canal beyond Carthage will never be 

" On the 12th of April, 1848, the ' Black River Steamboat Compani/' 
was chartered for fifteen years, with a capital of $25,000, to build one 
or more boats to navigate the river, subject to such tolls as might be 
imposed. The persons named in the act were Amos Buck, Harrison 
Blodget, Hiram McCollom, Dean S. Howard, Lymnn R. Lyon, Alburn 
Foster, Alfred Lathrop, Walter Nimocks, Eli West, Charles Dayan, 
James Smith, Wm. F. Strong, Elijah Horr, and Reuben Rice. A 
subscription was circulated, but nothing was accomplished by this 

"By an act of April 15, 1816, the Oswegatchie was declared a 
highway from its mouth to Strecter's Mills, the present village of 
Wegatchie. On the 6th of April, 1853, Indian River was declared a 
public highway for floating logs in Antwerp, Philadelphia, Le Ray, 
and Theresa, and the usual penalties were imposed for obstructing 
the channel. 

" From the earliest period of our existence .as a State, the St. Law- 
rence was regarded as a natural outlet for the great chnin of inland 
lakes, for which it served, in a great measure, as the channel of trade 
until the construction of the Erie canal. Buth the French and the 
English had built vessels on this lake while the supremacy of its 
waters was with them. A small but thriving commerce had arisen 
before the war, and during that period a formidable naval force sprung 
into existence that was opposed by a similar one fitted out at Kings- 
ton, and the hostile fleets upon Lake Ontario, at the close of the war, 
were increasing in number of sail and amount of force with a rapidity 
that has .had few parallels in naval annals. 

"At the conclusion of peace these fleets were gradually broken up 
or converted to commercial purposes, and almost immediately after 
the application of steam to navigation, which had already assumed 
importance on the Hudson and other waters, began to be applied to 
the lakes. 

"The subject having been examined in the summer and fall of 
1816, articles of agreement were drawn up, dated January 2, 1816, 
between Harriet Fulton and Wm. Cutting, of New York, executors of 
Robert Fulton, and Robert R. Livingston and Edward P. Livingston, 
of Clermont, owners of the right and privilege of steamboat navigation 
in the State by special act of the legislature, on the one part, and Ohas. 
Smyth, Joseph C. Yates, Thomas C. Duane, and David Boyd on the 
other part, by which the latter acquired the sole right to navigate 
boats and vessels (steamships and vessels of war excepted) by steam 
on all or any of the waters of Lake Ontario within the State of New 
York, and the full and exclusive right of employing such inventions 
and improvements, to which the grantors, or any of them, had, or 
hereafter might have, right or title by patent, etc. 

"It was provided and stipulated that but one boat should be em- 
ployed at a time on any route to be established on the said waters, by 
virtue of this contract, without the consent in writing of the grantors, 
and until the net proceeds of the one boat should exceed twenty per 
cent, per annum. One boat was to be built within two years. The 
grantees paid ten dollars on the execution of the agreement, and 
covenanted to pay annually (deducting $1500 from the gross rece.p s 
of each year, and the current expenses of running the boat) one-half 
of all moneys received above twelve per cent, on the investment. 
The $1500 was to be withdrawn annually until it should amount to 
$12,000, which was to constitute a sinking fund for rebuilding the 

boat. Should the grantees acquire from the British government any 
privileges for the navigation of the lake, they were to he shared 
equally by the contracting parties, and these privileges were not 
transferable. Application was to be made for the incorporation of 
an association, to be styled the ' Ontario Steamboat Company,^ with a 
capital of $200,000. 

" On the 6th of February, 1816, a petition from Charles Smyth, 
David Boyd, Eri Lusher, Abraham Van Stantvoord, John J. De 
Graff, and their associates, was presented, in which the essential facts, 
above stated, were given, and an act of incorporation solicited. A 
bill was prepared and passed the House, but did not become a law, 
in consequence of the early adjournment of the legislature. August 
16, of the same year, Eri Lusher and Charles Smyth became, by as- 
signment of De Graff and Boyd, partners in the enterprise, and a 
boat was commenced at Saoket's Harbor the same summer, after the 
model of the ' Sea Horse,' then running on the Sound near New York. 
She was one hundred and ton feet long, twenty-four feet wide, and 
eight feet deep, measuring two hundred and thirty-seven tons. The 
boilers are said to have been seventeen feet long and three and a half 
feet in diameter, with a cross-head engine, and cylinder of twenty 
inches diameter, and three feet stroke; wheels eleven feet four inches 
across, and capacity of engine, twenty-one horse-power." 

An application was made to the State legislature for an 
act of incorporation, in December, 1816, but it did not 

» Assembly Documents, 1840, No. 233. 

First Steamboat on the Great Lakes, 1816. 

" Early in 1817, the steamer ' Ontario' was completed and performed 
her first trip, being everywhere greeted with the most lively demon- 
strations of joy. Bonfires, illuminations, and mutual congratulations 
of friends bespoke the satisfaction with which this achievement was 
regarded, and the event was hailed as a new era in the commerce of 
the lakes. Weekly trips from Ogdensburgh to Lewistown were first 
attempted, but on the 1st of July, 1817, the owners advertised that, 
finding the trip of about six hundred miles too extensive to be per- 
formed within that time, it would be altered to ten days. The fare 
through was fixed at fifteen dollars. Captain Francis Mallaby, U. S. 
N. was her first master. The ' Ontario' continued to run, seldom ex- 
ceeding five miles an hour, until 1832, when she was broken up at 

" The monopoly of steam navigation on the waters of the State, 
granted by repeated acts of the legislature to Robert R. Livingston 
and Robert Fulton, gave rise to much litigation ; and in a suit of 
Ogden against Gibbous, commenced in the Court of Chancery, Sep- 
tember 27, 1819, it was decided in favor of the grant.f 

"An appeal was made to the Court of Brrors,J and the case was 
finally decided in the Supreme Court of the United States,^ in Feb- 
ruary, 1824, that the act was ' repugnant to the clause of the Consti- 
tation of the United States which authorizes Congress to regulate 
commerce, so far as the said acts prohibit vessels, licensed according 
to the laws of the United States, for carrying on the coai-ting trade, 
from navigating the said waters by meaus of fire or steam.' 

" The ' Ontario' was the first steamer built on a water subject to a 
swell, and determined the interesting problem whether steamboats 
were adapted to the navigation of open seas, as well as sheltered 

■\ Johnson's Chancery Reports, iv. 148. 
{ Cowcn's Reports, iii. 713. 
I Wheaton's Reports, ix. 1. 



riverF. The 'Frontenac' was built soon after, at Kingston, and tho 
first steamer appeared on Lake Erie in 1818. 

"The 'Martha Ogden' was built in 1819, at Saeket's Harbor, and 
continued in use until lost in 1832, under the following circumstances ; 
The boat had left Oswego on the afternoon of November 12, when 
she encountered a gale, and, being unable to regain the port, started 
for Sachet's Harbor j but aleak having sprung, the tires were put out, 
and her sails were raised. The wind prevented her from doubling 
Stony Point. Both anchors were thrown out in eight and a half 
fathoms, which held from four till eleven p.m., when they separately 
parted, and she soon after struck and bilged in ten feet of water. 
There were on board six hands and twenty-two passengers. With 
much peril, a man at length reached the shore, eight rods from the 
boat, rallied the inhabitants, built fires, and in the morning a line was 
passed to the shore, and the whole company on board were safely 
drawn ashore in a three-linshel broke/, rigged upon aline, with a Dutch 
harness. Captain Vaughan was the last one to leave the wreck, which 
went to pieces during the day. She was owned by S. & L. Denison, 
of Sachet's Harbor, and proved a total loss. This wreck occurred at 
Nutting's Bay, on the coast of Henderson. 

"The 'Sophia,' 'Bobbins,' 'Black Hawk' (afterwards the 'Dol- 
phin'), 'Brownville' (afterwards the 'William Avery'), ' Charles Car- 
roll' (afterwards the 'America'), and 'Paul Pry" were steamers on the 
lake and river, built at an early period, and previous to 18.34. 

"January 28, 1831, an act was passed constituting Joseph Denison 
and his associates a corporate body under the name of the ' Ontario 
and St. Lawrence Steamboat Company,' with a capital of 3100,000, 
and limited in duration till May 1, 1850. The affairs of the company 
wore to bo managed by fifteen directors, of whom tho first were to 
be Joseph Denison, Edward Benson, Gerrit Smith, Elias Trowbridge, 
Theophilus S. Morg.nn, Richard L. De Zeng, Horatio N. Walton, 
Josiah T. Marshall, John T. Trowbridge, Frederick Bushnell, Elisha 
Camp, Jacob Arnold, William Baron,* John 0. Bush, and Samuel 

"The place of business of the company to be fixed at Oswego, 
and its transactions limited solely to the navigation of the Ontario and 
river St. Lawrence. This company built at Ogdensburgh the steamer 
'United States,' which, for size and amount of accommodation, far 
surpassed any boat that had been previously run by Americans on 
this water. She was launched in November, 1831, and came out on 
her first trip July 1, 1832, under the command of Elias Trowbridge. 
Her dimennons were as follows: length, 142 feet; width, 26 feet 
beam, and 55 feet over all; depth of hold, 10 feet ; engines, low pres- 
sure, with a 40-inch cylinder and 8-feet stroke. Cost, $56,000. She 
continued running on the through line, from Ogdensburgh to Lewis- 
ton, till 1838, when, having become obnoxious to the Canadians from 
the use made of her at the affair at the Wind-mill, near Prescott, she 
was run upon the lake only .afterwards, until 1843, when she was 
broken up at Oswego, and her engines transferred to the ' Rochester.' 
" The following boats have since been built on this lake : 
"'Oswego,' at that place, 1833, of 286 tons. After running si.x 
years her engines were transferred to the 'St. Lawrence.' 

"'Jack Downing,' built at Carthage in 1834, by Paul Boynton 
and drawn on wheels to Sachet's Harbor; very small. Afterwards a' 

"'Oneida,' of 227 tons; built at Oswego in 1836; owned by Henry 
F.tishugh, of Oswego, E. B. Allen and G. N. Seymour, of Ogdens- 
burgh. In 1845 fitted up as a sail vessel, and lost on Lake ErFe 

" 'Telegraph,' 106 tons; built at Dexter in 1836; owned by parties 
at Utiea, Watertown, and Sachet's H.arbor; afterwards chan-ed to a 
sad vessel, and burnt on Lake St. Clair. 

" ' Express,' built in Pultneyvillo in 1839. H. N. Throop first mas- 
ter and part owner. Laid up in 1850. 

"'St. Lawrence,' 402 tons; enrolled at Oswego in 1839; rebuilt in 
1844, .and increased to 434 tons; cost, $50,000. Laid up at Clayton 
in 1850. Length, 180 feet; beam, 23 feet; hold, U feet. 

"'George Clinton' and 'President,' small boats, built at Oswego 
about 1842. '' 

"'John Marshall,' a small .steamer, wrecked in a storm off the 
mouth of S„ndy creek, October 18, 1844. Several other boats of 
minor class have at various times run upon the lake and St. Law- 
rencc river, 

" The corporation that built the steamer ' United States' n 

ever at- 

' "Baron" in the act; probably WiUian, lia,:,m. 

tempted any other boat. About 1812 the ' Ontario Steam- and Canal- 
Boat Company' was formed at Oswego, and in that year built the 
'Lady of the Lake,' of 423 tons; used on the through line until 1852 
when she was chartered as a ferry, from Cape Vincent to Kino'ston 
in connection with the railroad. She was the first American boat on 
this water with state-rooms on the upper deck. 

" ' The Rochester' was built at Oswego by the same company in 
1843; of 354 tons, and run on the through line till 1848, since which 
she has run from Lewiston to Hamilton. 

"'The Niagara,' of 433 tons, built at French Creek by the 'St. 
Lawrence Steamboat Company,' which had been formed soon after 
that at Oswego. This boat is still in use in the 'American Mail Line-' 
has a length of 182 feet; beam, 27* feet; total breadth, 47 feet; depth 
of hold, 7i feet; wheels, 30 feet in diameter.f 

"'The Cataract,' built at Clayton in 1847; measures 577 tons- 
length of keel, 202 feet; breadth of beam, 27i feet; across the 
guards, 48 feet; depth of hold, 10 feet; wheels, 30 feet in diameter. 
"'Ontario' was built in 1847, at Clayton. Extreme length, 240i 
feet; breadth of beam, 32 feet; and over all, 54J feet; depth of hold 
12 feet; cylinder, 50 inches in diameter and U-feet stroke; tonnage, 
900; cost, S80,000. 

"'Bay State,' built at Clayton, and came out on her first trip in 
June, 1849. She has a tonnage of 935. Length, 222 feet; breadth 
of beam, 3U feet, and over all, 58 feet; depth of hold, 12 feet; cylin- 
der, 56 inches in diameter and 11-feet stroke; wheels, 32 feet in 

" ' The Northerner,' built at Oswego, by G. S. Weeks, and came oat 
in May, 1850. Tonnage, 906. Length, 232 feet; beam, 30i feeti 
extreme breadth, 58 feet; depth of hold, 12i feet; wheels, 32 feet in 
diameter; cost, $95,000; cylinder, 60 inches in diameter and 11-feet 

"'The New York,' the largest steamer on the lake, was built in 
1851-52, at Clayton, by John Oades, the builder of the others at this 
place, and came out on her first trip in August, 1852. Tonnage, 994. 
Length, 224 feet; beam, 32i feet; entire breadth, 64 feet. Engines, by 
H. R. Dunham &, Co., of New York; cylinder, 60 inches in diameter 
and 12. feet stroke. Wheels, 64 feet in diameter, and cost about 

" In 1848 the two companies above named, which were generally 
styled the Utica Company and the St. Lawrence Company, united 
into one, and assumed the name of the 'Ontario and St. Lawrence 
Steamboat Company,' having a capital of $760,000, and the follow- 
ing officers: E. B. Allen, president; E. B. Allen, G. N. Seymour, H. 
Van Rensselaer, A. Chapman, E. 6. Merrick, S. Buckley, H. Fitz- 
hugh, A. Munson, T. S. Faxton, H. White, L. Wright, directors; 
and James Van Cleve, secretary and treasurer. 

"This company is the owner of eleven steamers, in daily use 
during the summer season, as follows: 

'"Express Line,' from Ogdensburgh to Lewiston direct, touching at 
Clayton and Cape Vincent, a daily line of two steamers, from May 
till October, viz.: 'Bay State,' Captain John Ledyard, and 'New 
York,' Captain R. B. Chapman. 

"'Mail Line,' from Ogdensburgh to Lewiston, touching at Pres- 
cott, Morristown, Brockville, Alexandria Bay, Clayton, Kingston, 
Saeket's Harbor, Oswego, Genesee River, and Lewiston. A daily 
line of three steamers, viz.. 'Cataract,' Captain A. D. Kilby ; 
'Niagara,' Captain G. B. Estes; 'Ontario,' Captain H. N. Throop. 
In 1862 the steamer ' Northerner,' Captain R. F. Child, formed one 
of this line. 

" The 'American Line,' from Ogdensburgh to Montreal daily, viz.: 
'British Queen,' Captain J. La Flamme; 'British Empire,' Captain 
D. S. Allen ; ' Jenny Lind,' Captain L. Moody. From Cape Vincent 
to Kingston, tho ' Lady of the Lake,' Captain Root. From Lewiston 
to Hamilton, the ' Rochester,' Captain I. Mason." 

This company continued to operate their lines until 
1858, when tlie competition of the Grand Trunlc railway 
so seriously affected their business that its affairs were . 
placed in the hands of a receiver, and the property sold to 
a new company, styled the " American Steamboat Com- 
pany," whose managers were E. B. Allen, Samuel Buckley, 

1 1854. 



Augustus Chapman, James G. Averill, and George N. 

" In safety, regularity, and dispatch, these hoats will compare with 
those on any inland water in the Union; ondsuch has been the skill 
and care exercised in their management, that not a single life has 
been lost, or injury to passengers occurred from accident, upon these 
or any of the steamers owned and run upon the American side of the 
lake. The melancholy accident that befell the ' Ocean Wave,' a boat 
with a British license, and running in connection with the Northern 
railroad, in the spring of 1863, is entirely without parallel upon this 
lake, and was said to be due to a faulty construction. 

" The steamers upon this lake are characterized for the perfection, 
neatness, and convenience of their arrangements, and their routes 
for attractive and beautiful scenery; and the throng of pleasure- 
seeking tourists that pass up and down the St. Lawrence during the 
summer season is constantly increasing. 

" The steamer 'Bay State,' during the season of 1852, ran 47,310 
miles, equal to sixteen times across the Atlantic, and her wheels 
performed 6,000,000 revolutions. No accidents or delays whatever 
occurred. The duty performed by the other boats would doubtless 
compare with this. 

"The 'Passport,' 'Magnet,' 'Maple Leaf,' 'New Era,' 'Arabian,' 
' Lord Elgin,' ' St. Lawrence,' ' Boston,' and other boats were running 
upon regular lines in 1863, some of them from Montreal to Hamilton ; 
and the ' Champion,' ' Highlander,' and ' May Flower' formed a daily 
line between Cape Vincent and Hamilton, touching at the principal 
ports on the north shore of the lake. 

"A submarine railway at Ogdensburgh is destined to confer great 
benetits upon the navigation of the lake, by aifording the means for 
taking the largest class of steamers and vessels out of the water for 

For some years lines of steamers ran in connection with 
the various railways, but at the present only small pleasure- 
steamers on the St. Lawrence, and lines of ferries to Cana- 
dian ports, are connected with them in JeiFerson County. 
The Northern Transportation Company's heavy propellers, 
which formerly connected at Cape Vincent, have been 
changed to Kingston and the north channel of the river, 
and connect lower down at Ogdensburgh and other ports. 
For further account of ship-building and lake navigation, 
see history of Hounsfield, Cape Vincent, Clayton, and 
other marine towns. 


Post-routes began to be established as early as 1806, and 
were added to as the country became more densely settled 
and roads more plenty, until the region of northern New 
York was as well supplied as other and older portions of 
the commonwealth. The earliest mails were undoubtedly 
carried on horseback, and all the routes, of course, up to 
the advent of railways, were over the common roads of the 
country. At the present time nearly all the mails come 
into and leave the county by rail, and nearly every section 
is accommodated by daily mails. In this connection we 
furnish a list of the post-routes of the county from 1806 
down to 1851, with the date of the formation of each by 
act of Congress : 

April 21, 1806. From Harrisburg, through Williams- 
town (De Kalb), Ogdensburgh, Potsdam, Chateaugay, to 
Plattsburgh. From Rome, through Redfield, Adams, by 
Smith's Mills, to Sacket^'s Harbor, and from thence to 

April 28, 1810. From Utica, by Whitestown, Rome, 
Camden, Adams, and Sacket's Harbor, to Brownville. 
From Utica, by Trenton, Steuben, Loyden, Turin, Lowville, 
Harrisburg, Ox Bow, De Kalb, Canton, Ogdensburgh, 

Lisbon, Hamilton (Waddington), Madrid, Potsdam, Ches- 
terfield (Lawrence), Malone, and Chetango (Chateaugay), 
to Plattsburgh. From Harrisburg, by Champion, Water- 
town, and Brownville, to Port Putnam. 

April 30, 1816. From Williamstown, by Richland, El- 
lisburg, and Henderson, to Sacket's Harbor. From Brown- 
ville to Cape Vincent. 

April 20, 1818. From Denmark, by Le Raysville, to 

March 3, 1821. From Turin, by Harrisburg, Copen- 
hagen, Tylerville, Pinckney, and Rodman, to Adams. From 
Watertown, by Le Raysville, to Antwerp. 

May 8, 1822. From Champion to Alexandria, by Felt's 
Mills, Le Raysville, Evans' Mills, Theresa, and Plessis. 

March 3, 1825. From Watertown, by Adams and 
Mannsville, to Sandy Creek ; and from thence, by Rich- 
land, etc., to Syracuse. 

March 2, 1827. From Ellisburg, by Smithville, to 
Sacket's Harbor. 

May 24, 1828. From Watertown, by Evans' Mills, 
Philadelphia, Antwerp, Gouverneur, De Kalb, and Heu- 
ville, to Ogdensburgh. 

June 15, 1832. From Watertown, by Brownville, La 
Fargeville, to Cornelia, at the mouth of French Creek ; 
thence, by Depauville, to Brownville. From Heuville, by 
De Peyster, to Ox Bow. 

July 2, 183G. From Watertown, by Burrville, to Rod- 
man. From Carthage, through Great Bend, Le Raysville, 
Felt's Mills, Lockport, and Huntington's Mills, to Water- 
town. From Theresa, by the Glass-Works and South 
Hammond, to Hammond. 

July 7, 1838. From New Haven, by Port Ontario and 
Lindseyville, to Ellisburg. 

August 31, 1842. From North Adams, through Field's 
Settlement, to Watertown. 

March 3, 1845. From Wilna, by Natural Bridge, to 

March 3, 1847. From Antwerp, by Shingle Creek, 
Fowler, FuUerville, Edwards, and Russell, to Canton. 

August 14, 1848. From Copenhagen, by Boynton's 
Corners, Worthville, and Jacksonville, to Lorraine. From 
La Fargeville, by Shantyville, Parker Settlement, Theresa, 
Ox Bow, and Wegatchie, to Gouverneur. 

September 27, 1850. From Pierrepont Manor to Sacket's 
Harbor, by railroad. From Adams Centre to Sacket's Har- 
bor, on the direct road. From Natural Bridge to Diana. 
From Evans' Mills to Ox Bow. From Lowville, by Har- 
risburg and Pinckney, to Rodman. 

March 3, 1851. From Great Bend, by Evans' Mills, to 
French Creek (Clayton). 


The following list shows the present post-ofiBces in the 
county, arranged by towns, alphabetically : 

Adai7is. — Adams, Adams Centre, Smithville. The latter 
is on the line between this town and Henderson. 

Alexandria. — Alexandria, Redwood, Plessis. 

Antwerj}. — Antwerp, Ox Bow. 

Brownville. — Brownville, Dexter, Perch River, Lim- 
erick, Pillar Point. 



Gape Fi«cen<.— Cape Vincent, St. Lawrence, Rosiere. 

CAampwrt.— Champion, Great Bend, South Champion. 

C%<on.— Clayton, Depauville, Thousand Island Park. 

^«is6«r^.— EUisburg, Rural Hill, Plerrepont Manor, 
Mannsville, Belleville, Woodville. 

Henderson. — Henderson, Bishop Street. 

i?o«ns/eZ(^.— Sacket's Harbor, Stowell's Corners, Galloo 
Islands, East Hounsfield. 

Le Ray.— ha Raysville, Evans' Mills, Black River, San- 
ford's Corners. 

Lorraine. — Lorraine, Allendale. 

i^„ig._Chaumont, Three-Mile Bay, Point Peninsula. 

CrZeans.— Orleans Four Corners, Omar, La Fargeville, 
Stone Mills, Fisher's Landing. 

Philadelphia. — Philadelphia, Sterlingville. 

Rodman. — Rodman, East Rodman. 

^((rfauJ.— Rutland, South Rutland, Felt's Mills. 

Theresa. — Theresa. 

Watertown. — Watertown (city). East Watertown, 
Burr's Mills. 

Wllna. — Wilna, North Wilna, Carthage, Natural Bridge. 
Worth. — Worth Centre, Worthville. 



On the evening of July 1, 1859, the balloon " Atlantic" 
ascended from St. Louis, Missouri, with Prof. John Wise, 
of Lancaster, Pennsylvania ; John La Mountain, of Troy, 
New York; 0. A. Gager, of Bennington, Vermont; and 
William Hyde, with the intention, if possible, of reaching 
the Atlantic coast. During the night they passed over the 
States of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, and the next forenoon 
obliquely over Lake Erie, passing between Buffalo and 
Niagara Falls. When over Lake Ontario they were caught 
in a hurricane. Their ballast was nearly exhausted, and 
they were swept along near the surface of the waves, in the 
greatest peril, and often with the prospect of a speedy death 
before them, until at length the shore appeared. We copy 
the following from the narrative of Mr. Wise : 

" At 7.20 P.M. we set sail from the Washington Square of St. Louis, 
and our course at starting was north of east. At 8.30 p.m. the shades 
of evening shut from our view the noble city of St. Louis, and the 
' Father of Waters,' though it continued light until after nine. Before 
I went to sleep we had mounted to a height at which the balloon be- 
came pompletely distended, and where we found the current due east. 
Mr. La Mountain proposed to take the lower current, as long as it 
would take us but a few points north of. east, and I told him to do as 
he deemed best, and report his reckoning in the morning. After 
bidding the party in the boat good-night, I coiled myself up in the 
blankets, and laid down as best I could, and in a few minutes was 
sound asleep, and knew of nothing but repose until 11.30 p.m. At 
this time Mr. La Mountain again mounted for the upper current, being 
desirous of making a little more easting; he hailed me to open the 
valve, as the balloon had become so tense, and the gas was rushing 
from the neck with a noise; but receiving no answer from me he sus- 
pected that I was being smothered in the gas, and he admonished Mr. 
Gager to mount to my car by a rope provided for that purpose, and 
Mr. Gager found me breathing spasmodically ; but a good shaking, 
and the removal of the neck of the balloon from ray face, brought me 
back to a knowledge of what was going on, and I resolved not to 
sleep more during the night. The whole dome of heaven was lit up 
with a mellow, phosphorescent light, the stars shone with erystallino 

brilliancy, and the milky way looked like an illuminated stratum of 
cumulus clouds. Whenever we crossed water the heaven-lit dome 
was as visible below by reflection as above. At 3 A.M., Saturday, we 
came to a general conclusion that we were somewhere over the State 
of Indiana or Ohio. At 4 A.M. we passed a city, but could not make 
it out. -At 5 A.M. we discovered Lake Brie ahead of us. At 6 a.m. 
we passed Toledo, and about an hour afterwards we lowered on the 
margin of the lake, a little north of Sandusky. After a few moments' 
consultation and a review of our ballast, we determined to risk the 
length of Lake Brie. Just as we emerged upon the lake a little steam 
screw, that was propelling up a river or bay, headed for our track, 
and some one on board of her quaintly cried aloud to us, ' That is the 
Lake ahead of you.' La Mountain cried back, 'Is it Lake Erie?' 
and the answer was, ' Yes, it is, and you had better look out.' We 
mounted up until the balloon was filled, and the barometer fell to 23°. 
Mr. La Mountain suggested that we could make the city of Buffalo 
by sailing but a few hundred feet above the lake, and I accordingly 
opened the valve until we gradually sank to within five hundred feet 
of the water. This was the most interesting part of our voyage. 
We overtook seven steamboats, passed mutual salutations, and would 
soon leave them flitting in our rear. At twenty minutes past ten a.m. 
we were skirting along the Canada shore, and passed near the mouth 
of the Wetland canal, and I soon began to mount for a more easterly 
current, so as to take Buffalo in our track ; but we circled up into it 
between Buffalo and Niagara Falls, crossing Grand Island, leaving 
Buffalo to the right and Lookport to the left of us in our onward 

" Finding ourselves in the State of New York, but too far north to 
make the city of New York, it was agreed that we would make a 
landing near Rochester, detach the boat, leave Mr. Gager and Mr. 
Hyde, and Mr. La Mountain and myself would pursue the voyage to 
a point at Boston or Portland. Accordingly we descended gradually, 
but before we got within a thousand feet of the earth we found a most 
terrific gale sweeping along below. The woods roared like a host of 
Niagaras, the surface of the earth was filled with clouds of dust, and 
I told my friends certain destruction awaited us if we should touch 
the earth in that tornado. The huge ' Atlantic' was making a ter- 
rific swoop earthward; already were we near the tops of the trees of 
'■■ tall forest, and I cried out excitedly, * for God's sake, heave over- 
board anything you can lay your hands on. La Mountain!' and in 
another moment ho replied ' all right,' standing on the side of the 
boat with a, shaft and wheels, intended for the working of the fan- 
wheels, and ready to heave it over, should it become necessary. We 
were fast running on to Lake Ontario; and oh, how terribly it was 
foaming, moaning, and howling ! I said, ' La Mountain, 1 have one 
hundred and fifty pounds of ballast in my car yet, and a heavy 
valise, with a lot of provisions.' ' Well, if that won't do, I will cut 
up the boat for ballast, and we can keep above water until we reach 
the opposite shore,' which was near a hundred miles off in the direc- 
tion we were then going. Everything now indicated that we should 
perish in the water, or on the land, and our only salvation was to keep 
afloat until we got out of the gale, if we could. By this time Mr. 
Gager and Mr. Hyde had clambered into the basket with me. Mr. 
Hyde said, very coolly, ' I am prepared to die, but I would rather die 
on the land than in the water.' I said, ' What do you say, Mr. Ga- 
ger?' He replied, 'I would rather meet it on the land; but do as 
you think best.' Our carpet-bags, our instruments, the express-bag, 
our provisions, were all ready to go and go they did, one after 
another, until we were reduced to the express-bag, and that went 
overboard at last. We were swooping at u, fearful rate upon the 
turbulent water, and, in another moment, crash went the boat upon 
the water aidewise, staving in two of the planks, and giving our 
whole craft two fearful jerks by two succeeding waves. La Mountain 
threw over the express-bag and the last remaining ballast, and cried 
out, ' Be easy, gentlemen, I'll have her afloat once more.' In another 
moment we were up a few hundred feet again, and the steamer 
' Young America' was tacking across our track. I now proposed to 
swamp the boat and balloon in the lake, and trust to being picked 
up by the ' Young America,' but the desire was that we should make 
the shore and try the land, and as we crossed the bow of the steamer 
they gave us a hearty hurrah. We were now within fifteen miles of 
the shore, the gale was raging below. I saw by the swaying to and 
fro of the lofty trees into which we must inevitably dash, that our 
worst perils were at hand; but I still had a blind hope that we would 
be saved. Wo struck within a hundred yards of the water, among 



some scattered trees, our hook, which was of inch and a quarter iron, 
brcaliing like a pipe-stem at tlie first catch of it in ^i. tree, and wo 
hurling through the tree-tops at a terrific rate. After dashing along 
in this way for nearly a mile, crashing, and breaking down trees, we 
were dashed most fearfully into the boughs of a tall elm, so that the 
basket swung under, and up through the croteh of the limb, while 
the boat had caught in some other branchosj but in another moment 
the ' Atlantic' puffed up her huge proportions, and at one swoop away 
went the limb, basket and boat, into the air a hundred feet. This 
limb, which was about eight inches thick, and weighed no less than 
eight hundred pounds, proved too much for the 'Atlantic,' and it 
brought her suddenly down upon the top of a very tall tree, and col- 
lapsed her. It was a fearful plunge, but left us dangling between 
heaven and earth in the most sorrowful-looking plight of machinery 
that can be imagined. None of us were seriously injured, the many 
cords, the strong hoop, and the close wicker work, saving us from 
harm. We landed upon the farm of Mr. T. 0. Whitney, in the town 
of Henderson, Jefferson County, New York." 

The balloon "Atlantic,'' after making the remarkable 
trip from St. Louis to Henderson, was repaired, and ex- 
hibited for a time in Watertown. August 11, 1859, Mr. 
La Mountain made an excursion alone from the public 
square in Watertown, and landed on the farm of C. Trim- 
erman, near Perch lake. There was much fault found 
with the acid used in making the gas, and the excursion 
was deemed a partial failure. A few days after he went 
up from Saratoga Springs, and landed a Imndred miles 
away, in two hours from the time of starting. Returning 
to Watertown, Mr. La Mountain made another ascension 
from the public square in Watertown, with Mr. John A. 
Haddock, one of the editors of the New Yurie Reformer, 
which, on account of the long absence of the aeronauts, ex- 
cited extraordinary interest. Ascending about half-past five, 
they disappeared from view a few minutes after, and were 
last seen, passing at a great elevation, over Antwerp. They 
descended about eight in the evening in a wilderness, which 
proved to be about one hundred and fifty miles north of Ot- 
tawa, in Canada, and three hundred miles north of Water- 
town. After four days without food, in trying to float by 
the aid of a raft down to some inhabited place, they found 
a lumbering station, where they were kindly received. Mr. 
Haddock returned to Watertown after thirteen days' absence. 


passed over a portion of the town of Antwerp, in Jefierson 

County, and a portion of St. Lawrence and Essex counties, 
on the 20th of September, 181:5, which was very destruc- 
tive in its eifects, though fortunately no lives of human 
beings were lost by it. The Jeffersonian, of September 30, 
in that year, contains a very graphic account of the work 
of destruction, from which this account is condensed. The 
tornado struck the earth and began its work about a mile 
east of Antwerp, and when it reached Fowler, in St. Law- 
rence county, its track was about three-fourths of a mile 
wide, and increasing, until, at the end of eight miles, the 
width was one and a half miles, covering an area in Fowler 
of four thousand acres, and in Edward of six thousand 
acres. In all this distance and area not a tree or building 
was left standing. On the Pitcairn road, and on one paral- 
lel to it, and about two miles distant, running through 
Emerson and Streeter settlements, sixteen buildings, com- 
prising dwellings, barns, and a school-house, were instantly 
swept away, but no serious injury resulted to the inmates. 
Large trees and like heavy objects were twirled about in the 
air like straw. Large and well-tilled farms were so cov- 
ered with the wreck of forests, the expense of clearing it 
away was more than the original cost of clearing them 
up in a state of nature. The cyclone ti'aveled at the rate 
of fifty miles an hour. Crossing the great forest lying be- 
tween the Black river and Lake Champlain, it burst upon 
a village and extensive iron-works near Keesville, Essex 
county, and swept them away as with a besom of destruc- 
tion. A feather-bed was carried sixteen miles, and depos- 
ited unhurt, save from the rain and hail, which followed 
close on the track of the hurricane. A man traveling 
along the road, witli a yoke of oxen and a wagon, was 
completely hemmed in by falling trees, brought from more 
than eighty rods distant. He escaped without serious in- 
jury, but his team was so entangled and bound in by the 
trees they were not extricated until after several hours of 
hard work. A framed school-house, with the teacher and 
scholars inside, was moved entirely from its foundations, 
while a log one was carried away from over the scholars' 
heads, every log of it, down to the floor on which the 
children sat. The hail which followed was very heavy, and 
composed of great ragged pieces of ice. 


The city of Watertown, the cWil and ccmmereial capi- 
tal of Jeiferson County, New York, one of the most thriv- 
ing counties of the Empire State, is finely located on the 
Black riyer about seven miles from its junction with Lake 
Ontario. The river divides the city into two unequal por- 
tions, the hulk of the place being on the southern side of 
the stream. Two large islands, Beebee's* and Sewall's, 
besides several smaller ones, are encompassed by the various 
channels within the city limits. Of these Beebee's con- 
tains about five, and Sewall's fifteen acres of land, or rather 
land and rock, for underneath the scanty covering of soil 
lies the formation known as the Trenton limestone, com- 
posed of three stratifications, individually known as "Tren- 
ton," " Black Eiver," and " Birds-eye," which comprise a 
large share of the surface, or outcropping strata of the 
county. The river is spanned by eight substantial bridges 
(counting the various channels) within the city, six of 
which are of wood, or wood and iron combined, including 
the railway bridges, and two of iron ; the latter on Mill 
street, near the centre of the city. 

One of these iron biidges, a remarkable and unique 
structure, upon the suspension plan, was designed and con- 
structed by Mr. Gilbert Bradford, a local engineer and 
mechanic of disting-uished celebrity. (See history of manu- 
factures in this work.) The islands and banks of the river 
are mostly occupied by the various manufactories for the 
distance of a mile or more, nearly all of which are very 
conveniently connected with the tracks of the railway lines 
which centre here. The main body of the town is beauti- 
fully situated on a broad-spreading plateau, running back to 
the terraces of limestone which mark the ancient shores of 
Lake Ontario. The city is remarkably well built, more 
especially in the line of dwellings, which for number, ele- 
gance, and comfort are not excelled by those of any city in 
the Union. 

The place has all the necessary and characteristic elements 
of a large city, including fine, broad, and well-paved streets, 
grand hotels, extensive printing establishments, costly 
churches, good schools, gas- and water-works, a well-ordered 
fire department, a competent police force, two great rural 
cemeteries, excellent bands, a good opera-house, extensive 
and imposing business blocks, and heavy manufactures. It 
is the centre of a very extensive trade in nearly all descrip- 
tions of merchandise and manufactured goods, and transacts 
a very large business in dairy and other agricultural produc- 


1. Its unsurpassed and almost unlimited water-power, 

* Formei-Iy called Cowen's island. 


furnished by Black river, which falls nearly 112 feet within 
the city limits. 

2. It is located in the most fertile and productive portion 
of northern New York, and in one of the most thriving 
and prosperous agricultural counties in the State. 

3. It is the virtual centre of a railway system which has 
its outlets at favorable points in the interior of the State, 
and at the best ports on the " great lakes of the north." 

4. It therefore possesses the advantages of railway com- 
petition, all competing lines expressing and showing a liberal 
spirit towards all manufacturing enterprises. 

5. It is situated in the midst of vast and valuable mineral 
deposits, chief among which are inexhaustible beds of the 
finest iron ore to be found in the United States, many of 
which are in full and successful operation. 

G. Within the limits of the city lie portions of a ridge 
of limestone miles in extent, which, it has been demonstrated, 
has no superior as a_/?wx for use in the reduction of iron ore. 

7. It has direct railroad communicatioa with the vast 
coal regions of northern Pennsylvania, by two competing 
railroad lines. 

8. It has direct railroad communication with the lum- 
bering interest of adjoining counties, with lake and river 
ports, receiving lumber from the west, and with the great 
pine forests of Canada. 

9. It is within ten miles of one of the best harbors on 
the great lakes, with which it is connected by rail, thus 
affording direct communication by water with the grain, 
lumber, and mineral industries of the northwest. 

10. It is situated in the midst of the most productive 
tanning interest of the State, — Jefferson and adjoining 
counties being large producers of live stock, and the mate- 
rial for reducing hides to leather. 

11. The government of the city is based on the strictest 
ideas of economy consistent with safe and sure progress, 
and the spirit of the people is decidedly in favor of every 
measure intended to make the rate of taxation low. The 
officers of the city are pledged to carry out this idea. 

12. Statistics show that it is one of the healthiest cities 
in the Union, subject to no contagious diseases, and free 
from prevailing sickness. The rate of mortality for 1875 
was one in seventy. 

13. Its public school system has been placed upon a 
satisfactory foundation, and affords excellent educational 

14. The cost of living is much less than in the large 

15. Its social advantages are numerous, the tone or 
society healthy, and the morals of the community beyond , 



IG. Its great wealth, which is just now seeking invest- 
ment in desirable and well-conducted manufacturing pur- 

It is 250 miles northwest of New York city, 147 miles 
west-northwest of Albany, 72 miles north of Rome, 90 
miles northwest of Utica, 69 miles north of Syracuse, 60 
miles northeast of Oswego, 76 miles south of Ogdcnsburgh, 
with all of which cities it has direct and unbroken railroad 
connection. It is also 10 miles east of Sacket's Harbor, 
one of the finest harbors on Lake Ontario, and 25 miles 
southeast of Cape Vincent, a fine port on the St. Lawrence 
river, opposite Kingston, Ontario, and one of the prominent 
outlets of a flourishing Canadian trade. With both the 
last-named points Watertown has direct railroad connection. 
It is also connected by rail with Clayton, a thriving village 
on the St. Lawrence river, opposite Gananoque, which is 
also an outlet of Canadian trade ; and with Blorristown, a 
prosperous villiige a few miles farther down the river, 
opposite Brockville, Ontario. Kingston, Brockville, and 
Gananoque, with Presoott, opposite Ogdensburgh, are im- 
portant points on the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada. 
Kingston is the terminus of the Kingston and Pembroke 
railroad, penetrating a productive lumber country. Brock- 
ville is the terminus of the Brockville and Ottawa railroad, 
and also of the Rideau canal, both passing through impor- 
tant lumber districts. Prescott is the terminus of the St. 
Lawrence and Ottawa railroad. 

It will be seen that nothing can be more favorable than 
the geographical location of Watertown, commercially con- 
sidered. It is an element of strength which cannot be well 
overlooked by those who look at the question ol' location 
with commercial eyes. 

The city is situated in the very heart of one of the richest 
agricultural regions in the State, to which fact is largely due 
the substantial growth, thrift, enterprise, and prosperity 
which have become its recognized features with those who 
know its history best. Its prosperity is secoifd to no city 
of its size in the United States. It is, in fact, the leading 
commercial city of northern New York. 


The town of Watertown was organized from Mexico 
March 14, 1800, and comprised at that time townships 
Nos. 1, 2, and 3, or Hounsfield, Watertown, and Rutland. 
The name of the town was probably suggested by the 
great amount of water-power at the rapids where the city 
now stands. It is not on record who suggested it. 

By the erection of Hounsfield and Rutland the original 
limits have been reduced to their present outline. Up to 
1869 the village of Watertown formed a part of the town- 
ship. In that year the village was erected into a city, and a 
portion of the town of Pamelia was at the same time included 
in the chartered Umits. The town was surveyed in 1796 
by Benjamin Wright, and subdivided into fifty-two lots, 
ranging in size from 450 to 625 acres, and having a total 
area of 26,485 acres. A subsequent survey, by Robert 
McDowell, gave 26,667 acres. In 1801 the town was 
again subdivided by Joseph Crary, under the direction of 
Silas Stow. Upon the division of these towns, this, with 
Adams and Lowville, fell to the share of Nicholas Low, 

under whom it was settled. The first agent employed was 
Silas Stow, who was followed, in 1804, by Morris S. Miller, 
and in March, 1806, the latter was succeeded by Isaac W. 
Bostwick, Esq., of Lowville. Mr. Wright surveyed the 
" Black River Eleven Towns," and made a report accom- 
panied by remarks upon the soil, timber, water-power, etc. 
The following is an extract from his remarks upon this 
town : 

" Township No. 2, on Black river, is situated about tlireo miles 
, from the uiouth of the river. This river is navigable for bateaux 
about one and three-quarter miles, but yet with considerable diffi- 
culty, it may be ascended two and a half miles. The soil of this 
township is excellent in general, and, indeed, there is very little but 
what might bo truly called first quality. Timber — maple, beech, 
bass, elm, ash, butternut, and some pine, of excellent quality. 

"There are excellent mill-seats along Black river, where they 
are noted on the map, and many more which it is impossible to 
note with certainty, as the river the whole distance on the town is 
very rapid, except at the northeast corner, for about three-quarters 
of a mile. The river is very rocky along the whole distance, and ap- 
pears to be a bed of limestone rocks. Along the banks of Black 
river, opposite No. 2 townsbiji, is cedar and hemlock, and, in some 
places, white pine, for about twenty or thirty rods, and from thence 
it rises to very handsome land, and timbered with maple, bass, beech, 

"At the northwest corner is some flat rock, which lies about eight 
inehes under the surface, and which is full of large cracks, open 
about ten or twelve inches." 

Of the lots upon which the village of Watertown has 
been built, he remarked : 

7. "This is a very good lot, and has excellent mill-seats on the 
river, without expensive dams, and with the greute.-it safety to the 

8. "This is a very good lot, and is well timbered; has fine mill- 
seats, and land of the first quality; some few stone and some pine 

9. " (Above village.) This is an excellent lot, some beautiful land 
along the east line, and some pine timber on the south ; some maple, 
beech, bass, elm, and iron-wood. 

10. "(Corner lot.) This is an excellent lot ; has a fine flat along 
the beach, which is very fine soil." 

Simultaneously with the organization of the town, settle- 
ments were commenced by Henry Coffeen and Zachariah 
Butterfield, who arrived in March, 1800. They had vis- 
ited the country the previous autumn and purchased farms. 
They were from Schuyler, Oneida county, and brought 
their families and began their settlements on the site of 
Watertown village. Cofi^een arrived a little in advance of 
Butterfield, com'mgvia Lowville, with his family and house- 
hold goods upon an ox-sled. He had purchased parts of 
lots 2, 3, 13, 21, and 165 acres on the westerly part of lot 
No. 7, now covered by the city. He erected his hut on the 
o-round just west of the Iron Block, and Butterfield settled 
on the spot now covered by the Merchants' Exchange, 
newly erected on the corner of Washington street and the 
Public square. Oliver Bartholomew* arrived in town in 
March, 1800, and settled one and a half miles from the 
present village of Brownville. Simeon and Benjamin 
WoodruiF and others visited the town, with the view of 
settlement, and in the ensuing winter but three families 

* Deacon Bartholomew was born in Connecticut, October 20, 1767 ; 
served through the Kevolution ; settled in Oneida county in 1794, and 
died in Watertown, .Tunc 18, 1850. In 1803 he assisted in forming 
one of the first Baptist churches in the county. 



wintered in town, viz. : CoiFeen, Bartholomew, and Butter- 
field. The land books of Mr. Low show the following list 
of purchasers, some of whom may not have been actual 
settlers : 

" 1799, May 1 6. John Whitney, 450 acres on lot 8, at S2.50 per acre ; 
this probably reverted. In October, E. Allen, Silas Aldcn, S. and 
B. Woodruff, Jas. Rogers, 0. Bartholomew, Tho.i. Delano, Blisha 
Gustin, Z. Butterfield. In 1800, llcman Pellit, Thos. and John Saw- 
yer, John Blevan, Abram Fisk, Wm. Lampson, Joseph Tuttle, N. 
Jewett, J. Wait, Abram Jewett, Hart Massey, Joseph Wadlcy, Jona- 
than Bcntley, J. Sikes, S. Norris, Chas. Galloway, Jonathan Talcott, 
Josiah Bentley, Trend Dayton, John Patrick, David Bent, Luther 
Demming, Bphraim Edwards, Tilson Barrows, Thomas Buttertield, 
J. and L. Stebbins, Asaph Mather, Benj. Allen, E. Lazelle, Henry 

Jewett, Lewis Drury, S. Fay, Stanley, James Glass, Ira Brown, 

W. P. and N. Crandall, Calvin Brown, Aaron Bacon, Bennet Eice, 
Thomas H. Biddlecom." 

During the following season many of these persons, who 
were mostly from Oneida county, settled, and, in 1802, 
Jonathan Cowen* began the erection of a grist-mill at the 
bridge that crosses to Beebee's Island. The extraordinary 
water power which this place presented alForded ground 
for the expectation that it would become the centre of a 
great amount of business. The first deeds were given 
August 20, 1802, to Elijah Allen, Jotham Ives, David 
Bent, Ezra Parker, William Parker, Joseph Tuttle, and 
Joseph Moore."}" 

During the first summer of the settlement, it being en- 
tirely impossible to procure grinding at any mills nearer 
than Canada, a stump standing on the Public square, a few 
rods east of the American Hotel, had been formed into a 
mortar, and, with a spring-pole and pestle attached, served 
the purpose of a giain-mill to the settlement. This primi- 
tive implement, suggestive of rustic life and the privations 
of a new colony, relieved the pioneers, in some degree, from 
the necessity of long journeys to mill, through a pathless 
forest. The hardships of this early period had a tendency 
to create a unity of feeling and sympathy from the strong 
sense of mutual dependence which it engendered, and which 
is recalled by the few survivors of the period with emotions 
of gratitude for the manifest mercies of Providence. These 
hardy adventurers were mostly poor. They possessed few 
of the comforts of life, yet they had few wants. The need- 
ful articles of the household were mostly made by their 
own hands, and artificial grades of society were unknown. 
The first death of the settlement is thus described by J. P. 
Fitch, in the preface of the first village directory, published 
in 1840: 

" Late at the close of a still, sultry day in summer, Mrs. I. Thorn- 
ton, the wife of one of the young settlers, gave the alarm that her 
husband had not returned from the forest, whither he had gone in the 
afternoon to procure a piece of timber. Immediately every man in 
the settlement answered to the call, and hastened to tho place desig- 
nated for meeting, to concert a plan for search. Here all armed them- 
selves with torches of lighted pine-knots, or birch-bark, and calling 
every gun in the place into use for firing alarms and signals, started 
out in small companies into the forest, in all directions. After a 
search of several hours, tho preconcerted signal-gun announced that 
the ' lost was found.' All hurried to the spot, and upon the ground 

» Cowen was a millwright, nnd an undo of Judge Eseek Cowen, of 
Saratoga county. He died near Evans' Mills, November 27, 1840, at 
the age of 80. 

t The majority of these settled outside the villa'^e. 

where now stands the Black River Institute, crushed beneath a tree 
which he had felled, lay the lifeless body of their companion. He 
was laid upon a bier hastily prepared for the occasion, and conveyed 
through the gloom of midnight, by the light of their torches, back to 
his house. What must have been the emotion of the bereaved youn" 
widow when the mangled corse of her husband, so suddenly fallen a 
victim to death, was brought in and laid before her! She did.not 
however, mourn alone. As the remains were borne to their last rest- 
ing place — tho first grave that was opened in Trinity Church-yard 

it needed no sable emblems of mourning to tell of the grief that hung 
dark around every heart. Each one of the little company, as he re- 
turned from per/orming the last duties to his departed oouipanion, 
felt as if from his own family one had been taken. A similar inci- 
dent occurred a short time after, in tho death of a child which was 
killed by the falling of a tree, on the present site of the court-house; 
thus designating with blood, as one can imagine, the location of tlie 
halls of justice and science in our village, and consecrating the 
ground of each by a human sacrifice." 

In 1802 an inn was opened by Dr. Isaiah Massey, and 
settlers began to locate in every part of (he town, which, in 
September of that year, numbered 70 or 80 families. A 
dam was built by Cowan in 1802, and in 180,3 he got in 
operation a small grist-mill. During two or three succeed- 
ing years, John Paddock, Chauncey Calhoun, Philo John- 
son, Jesise Doolittle, William Smith, Medad Canfield, Aaron 
Kejes, Wm. Huntingdon,^ John Hathaway, Seth Bailey, 
Gershon Tuttle; and others, several of whom were me- 
chanics, joined the settlement, and, at a very early day, a 
school-house was built on the site of the Universalist church, 
which served also as a place of religious meetings. In 1805, 
John Paddock and William Smith opened the first store in 
the place, their goods being brought from Utica in wagons. 
An idea may be had of the hard.ships of that period, compared 
with modern facilities, from the fact that in March, 1807, 
seventeen sleighs, laden with goods for Smith and Paddock, 
were twenty-three days in getting from Oneida county to 
Watertown by way of Redfield. The snows were in some 
places seven feet deep, and the valleys almost impassable 
from wild torrents resulting from the melting of snows. 
The winter 'had been remarkable for its severity, and the 
spring for destructive floods. 

In 1803 a bridge was built below the village, near the 
court-house, by Henry CofFeen and Andrew Edmunds, over 
which the State road afterwards passed, and in 1805 the 
dam was built below the bridge, at which, the same year, a 
saw-mill was built on the north side, and in 1806 a grist- 
mill, by Seth Bailey and Gershom Tuttle. A saw-mill was 
built on the Watertown side by R. & T. Potter, a little . 
below, and a saw- and grist-mill soon after by H. H. Cof- 
feen, since which time many mills have been erected along 
the river. 

The first brick building erected in the county was built 
by William Smith, in the summer of 1806. It was two 
stories in height, with a stone basement, Mr. Smith work- 
ing upon it with his own hands. The bricks were manu- 
factured by Eli Rogers, on the point of land between the 
mall and Franklin street. The site of this building is now 
occupied by Washington Hall. 

It is a singular fact that the village of Watertown, in 
common with the whole county of Jefi'erson, while it vies in 

X Died at Watertown, May 11, 1 842, aged 85. He was a native of 
Connecticut, and came to Watertown in 1804. 



wealth and enterprise with the most favored portions of the 
State, owes very little if anything to imported capital. In 
most instances the wealth now existing has been acquired 
on the spot, by those who at an early period were thrown 
upon their own immediate exertions for support ; and from 
the ashes of the timber that covered the land, and the 
first crops which the virgin soil yielded in kind profusion, 
they received the first impulse, which, seconded by in- 
dustry, prudence, and sagacity, has not failed in bringing 
its reward. With a strong conviction that the place would 
at a future time become an important village, Jonathan 
Cowen, Henry CofFeen, Zechariah Butterfield, Jesse Doo- 
little, Medad Canfield, Aaron Keyes, Hart Massey, and 
Isaiah Massey, who owned property adjoining the present 
public square and Washington street in Watertown, held, 
early in 1805, an informal meeting, and agreed to give for- 
ever to the public for a public mall a piece of land twelve 
rods wide and twenty -eight long, and another, running south 
at right angles to this, nine rods wide, and about thirty-two 
long. They then directed to be made by John Simons, a 
surveyor, a map of the premises, which was done, and de- 
posited in the town clerk's office, but this was afterwards 
lost. An attempt was subsequently made to resume the 
title, and sell portions of the public square, but the question 
having come into the courts, was decided by Judge Nathan 
Williams in favor of the public, as Mr. Cowen, the claimant, 
although he had never deeded land on the public square, 
had acknowledged its existence by his bounding certain 
conveyances upon it.* In the same year the site of the 
court-house was determined by the commissioners appointed 
by the governor for that purpose, not without the most 
active influences being used at Brownville ; and it is said to 
have been located in its present site, at some distance below 
the business portion of the village, by way of compromise. 


An act of 1808 directed 500 stand of arms to be de- 
posited at Champion, the destination of which was, by an 
act of March 27, 1809, changed to Watertown, and an 
arsenal erected in that year. The arsenal was built under 
the'direction of Hart Massey, Esq., collector of the district 
of Sacket's Harbor, at an expense of 11940.99. It has 
given its name to the street on which it stands, which was 
previously called Columbia street, and was maintained by 
the State as an arsenal until sol(J under the act of April 9, 
1850. The brick of which it was built were furnished by 
Abraham Jewett, at a cost of $339.63 ; the stone were cut 
byThaddeus Smith and Joseph Cook, at a cost of $110.80 ; 
and the Hme furnished by David Stafford and Benjamin 
Groodale, at 22 cents per bushel. 

In Watertown, as in other sections, the manufacture of 
potash formed the first means of realizing cash, and many 
paid in whole or in part for their lands by this means. In 
1808 nine thousand dollars worth of this staple was ex- 
changed, the market being^ at that time in Montieal. In 
1870 the firm of Paddock & Smith purchased 2800 bar- 
rels, averaging $40 per barrel, making for that period the 
enormous aggregate of $112,000. The embargo which 

* See Paige's- Chancery Reports, iv., p. 510. 

preceded the war did not prevent but rather increased the 
trade by the high prices that it created, but the declaration 
of war entirely prostrated that and every other energy of 
the country, except that the military operations of that 
period required largo supplies of provisions and forage for 
the armies on the frontier. At Watertown bodies of troops 
were stationed for short periodsj and the sick were often 
sent thither for that attendance which could not be secured 
at Sacket's Harbor. In 1811 the citizens had adopted 
measures for securing the benefits of an academy, and 
erected on the site of the First Presbyterian church a brick 
building for that purpose, which will be again mentioned in 
our account of academies. This building was used as a 
hospital for a considerable time. 

Soon after the war there occurred in this village an event 
which excited extraordinary interest throughout the country, 
and of which many accounts have been published, more or 
less approximating to the truth, but none to our knowledge 
giving the full and correct details. Had the subject de- 
pended upon us alone to give it publicity, it might have 
been properly passed over as one of those events that should 
be forgotten, in charity to the memory of the dead, and 
feelings of surviving relatives ; but as it has been so often 
repeated that we do not imagine it in our power to give it 
wider notoriety, and knowing that the public would expect 
a notice of the event, we have labored to procure a correct 
version. The narrative may effect a useful purpose, by ex- 
hibiting the extent to which one error leading to another 
will betray one, at the same time serving as an instructive 
lesson to warn against any deviation from the path of honor, 
or the listening to suggestions that compromise principle. 

Samuel Whittlesey, Esq., a lawyer of fine abilities, and 
whose moral and religious standing in the community was 
above suspicion, although " unequally yoked" to a woman 
of vicious proclivities, had settled in Watertown as early 
as 1807. He was a member in good standing of the Con- 
gregational (now Presbyterian) church, and being a Demo- 
crat in politics, was honored with office from the appointing 
power. In 1814 he was the candidate of that party for 
member of Congress, and though defeated by Moss Kent, 
it was not for lack of popularity with the people composing 
his party. He was appointed brigade paymaster of the 
militia, by Governor Tompkins, for the purpose of paying 
off the State militia who had been called into the service 
on the frontier during the war. Jason Fairbanks and Perley 
Keyes were his sureties, and this last fact is the apology for 
giving a detailed history of that afiair in connection with 
Mr. Fairbanks' biography. 

After the war had fully closed, the militia began to look 
with anxiety for the time to come when they should get 
their pay for services in the defense of their country. Mr. 
Whittlesey went to New York to obtain the necessary funds, 
and received at the Mechanics' Bank in that city $35,000, 
with which he returned, honestly intending, as there was 
reason to suppose, to pay out the last dollar to the persons 
for whom it was designed. 

Mrs. Whittlesey's evil genius had suggested to her to go 
along, ostensibly for the purpose of visiting some friends, 
but, as afterwards seemed more likely, to watch for some 
opportunity which might turn up. An indefinable desire 



to be where the money was possessed her, and she persuaded 
lier husband that it was eminently proper for her to bear 
him company. ' On their way back, at Schenectady, she 
claimed to make the discovery that their trunk had been 
broken open and some 18700 of the money taken. Her 
opportmity for possessing herself of a portion of that 
money had come, indeed, as she planned, and she had 
wickedly abstracted it, as will appear in the sequel. Mr. 
Whittlesey was confounded and overwhelmed. What could 
be done ? was the anxious inquiry. 

By degrees she began to hint, darkly, " that it mattered 
little what was done ; that they were ruined beyond any 
hope of escape ; that it would be utterly impossible to sat- 
isfy a carping, uncharitable world; that they would un- 
doubtedly be charged with embezzling the money, and 
forthwith prosecuted for the amount; that it would sweep 
away every dollar of their hard savings, upon which they 
had depended as a store for old age and decrepitude, etc." 
In his distraction and perplexity, this reasoning sounded 
so like logical deductions that he was obliged to assent to 
the terrible array of consequences. She .continued to inti- 
mate " that if there was no way of escape, if they must 
be ruined beyond hope of redemption, in character and 
property ; if all must go to satisfy the inexorable demands of 
arbitrary law ; if men would have no mercy, and God him- 
self had left them to buffet the waves of relentless fate, then 
there was an instinct which prompted her to lay hold of 
anything that promised to alleviate their terrible condition." 
She whispered it in his ear, " take the balance of the money 
and flee to some distant island or country, where among 
strangers, with money in their pockets, they could hope to 
escape utter starvation." She succeeded in getting him in 
her toils and then fastening him there. 

On his reaching home he gave out that his money had 
been received and would be paid over as soon as the neces- 
sary papers and pay-rolls could be prepared. In a few days 
he completed his arrangements, and started on horseback 
for Trenton, with his money in a pair of old-fashioned port- 
manteaus, which were placed in the ordinary way across 
the saddle-seat. At the several places where he stopped on 
the way he took pains to announce to the people that he 
would be back on a given day and pay to such persons as 
were entitled by their services and vouchers. His appear- 
ance at the time was natural and careless, too much so, as 
was thought by some, for a man who was in a position of 
so much responsibility. But he had been well instructed, 
no doubt, by his evil genius, and he enacted his part as well 
as could be expected from a man who was naturally honest, 
and who was out of his element, and had such a crushing 
sense of damning guilt resting on his soul. 

He reached Trenton, and put up at the public-house 
owned by Orren Ives, but which was in charge of Henry 
D. Cadwell, Esq., now of our village. He left his horse 
under the shed, as though he was going farther, and had 
him fed, with the saddle and portmanteau all on. He called 
for dinner, and after dinner he wept into the street, and 
finally to the barn, but soon came in again with haste, 
apparently in the greatest possible consternation and alarm, 
bringing the saddle-bags with him, and declaring " tJiat he 
hud heen rohhed of his money, and intimating that it must 

have been done since he teas at that house .'" Mr. Cadwell 
tried to convince him that it was impossible, but in vain. 
He then ran over to Dr. Billings' for advice, not choosing 
to rest under the imputation of crime, and persuading him 
to come and examine into the circumstances. 

Dr. Billings cheerfully undertook to satisfy Mr. Whittle- 
sey that whoever had got his money, it was not any person 
belonging to the house at Mr. Ives'. The portmanteau 
was exhibited in the mean time, and the slit on the under 
side where it' was supposed the money must have been ex- 
tracted, was particularly and critically inspected to see 
whether it was a fresh cut or otherwise. Mr. Whittlesey's 
attention was very soon called by Dr. Billings to the fact 
that the action of the portmanteau on the horse's loins had , 
heated him', and produced a free perspiration, and that the 
lather thus created had penetrated the slit in the leather, 
staining the edges, and leaving a gummy substance on the 
inner surface, which he peeled off with his thumb-nail. 
The slit was evidently cut, at some time, with a knife, and 
was seven or eight inches in length. There were some 
packages of old newspapers put in to supply the place, but 
the money was gone. 

He returned home to communicate the terrible catas- 
trophe to his family, and his two friends who were his 
sureties, and who must necessarily be involved in the 
general ruin which seemed inevitable. As a natural con- 
sequence, the event became the absorbing topic in eveiy 
family, and the theme of a wide circle in all the counties of 
the State. 

Rewards were offered, and staring hand-bills posted for 
the apprehension of the bold thief, but all in vain. Messre. 
Fairbanks and Keyes conversed with him freely, and without 
seeming to hesitate in taking his version of the story, which 
was, briefly, " That the money was all in one package, just 
as he had received it from the bank ; that he put it in one 
end of the portmanteau, with some changes of linen in the 
other end ; that he then took them on his arm, and pro- 
ceeded to put them across the saddle, and immediately 
mounted his horse, sitting on the bags ; and he thought he 
had exercised a very careful supervision over them up to 
the time when he missed the money, after arriving at 
Trenton village.'' 

He exhibited the portmanteau first to Mr. Fairbanks, 
and then to Mr. Keyes, at two separate interviews, and 
each made such an examination of them as they could do 
without betraying any suspicions that their confidence in 
the integrity of the Whittlesey family was weakened. Mr. 
Fairbanks' interview with Mr. W. lasted an hour, during 
■which time the best method of procedure in efforts to detect 
the thief and recover the money was freely discussed. 
With the view of being able to answer the inquiries which 
would be made, Mr. Fairbanks took an exact diagram of 
the slit in the bags on a piece of paper, and found the 
length of it seven and a half inches, with what appeared to 
be pin-holes in the edges of the cut in the leather, as if they 
were made by pinning the edges together to keep the sht 
from being readily discovered. 

Whittlesey told him that the principal reason why he 
took all the money with him was, " that his women were 
unwilling that any portion of it should be left with them. 

. \ 


MRS. WILLARD IVES (deceased), 


Residence or HON. WILLARO IVES. 


of Watertown, Jefferson County, New- York, is a man whose 
history, simple and unpretending, is identical with that of a 
large class of the most usefiil members of society. He is, in the 
best sense of the word, a farmer. Blessed with a competence 
which places him beyond the apprehension of want, the owner of 
extensive and valuable farming lands, lying contiguous to the 
flourishing city of Watertown, he prosecutes the occupation of 
agriculture with his own hands, thus giving a practical repudia- 
tion to the anti-republican assumption, that " labor is degrading 
and at war with true dignity." That the sympathies of Mr. 
Ives are pre-eminently with. the producing classes is evidenced, 
.not, as in too many instances, by mere empty professions, but 
by the high force of practical example. 

The subject of this notice is of New England extraction. 
His grandfather, Mr. Jotham Ives, who was of Welsh de- 
scent, was bom in Cheshire, Connecticut, in 1743 ; removed 
early in life to Torrington, Litchfield county, where he spent 
his days almost exclusively in agricultural pursuits. His third 
son, Titus, was born in December, 1778. In 1801 (at the 
early age of twenty-three) Titus Ives rempved to Watertown I 

township, New York, which he made his permanent home. 
The fertile and wealthy region now known as the " Black Kiver 
country," was at that time an almost .unknown wilderness, and 
to Mr. Ives belongs the credit of having been one of the pioneers 
by whose perseverance and energy pleasant fields and thriving 
vill^es have been carved out of that unbroken wilderness. 

Willard Ives, the subject of this notice, was bom July 7, 
1806, in the town of Watertown, and lived on the farm taken 
, up by his father, when he first came to the county, until the 
year 1850. He was limited in the means of education to the 
indifferent common schools afforded by a new country, and 
the humble district school-house, with the exception of a short 
time spent at Belleville and an academy in Lowville. He was 
married December 27, 1827, to Miss Charlotte, daughter of 
Samuel and Lucy Winslow, of Watertown, but formerly of 
Vermont. She was amiable in her disposition, devoted to the 
welfare of the church she so much loved ; a consistent Chris- 
tian woman, a faithful wife. Her long-continued ill health 
finally brought her to a premature grave. She died in the year 
1861, aged fifty-five years. 

Poriis second wife he married Miss Luoina M., daughter of 
Zepheniah and Sally Eddy, of Philadelphia, Jefferson County, 
but formerly of Oswego county. Her father was a native of 
Khode Island. She is a lady of more than ordinary intellectual 
ability, and shares the happiness and comfort of her husband 
in the declining years of his life. 

Devotedly attached to the faith and discipline of the Meth- 
odist denomination of Christians, he was selected in 1846 by 
the Black Kiver conference to represent it in the World's con- 
vention, held that year in London. In the discharge of the 
duty so assigned him, he visited Europe, and spent much of 
the year 1846 abroad. After his return he was chosen presi- 
dent of the Jefferson County Agricultural Society, a position 
for which his close attention to agricultural science has pecu- 
liarly qualified him. 

In the year 1840 he was first connected with the bank of 
Watertown as director, and subsequently as president. In 
1848 his friends presented his name to the public as a candi- 
date for Congress. He was always, from his earliest political 
action, strongly attached to the principles of the Democratic 
party, and, like the great mass of that party in this State, found 
himself unable to concur in the recommendations of the Balti- 
more convention. The county of Jefferson, forming the Nine- 
teenth congressional district, is of doubtfiil political complexion, 
and had been, for ten years previous, represented more than one- 
half of the time by a Whig member. 

In the campaign of 1848, the supporters of General Cass 
for the presidency drew off from the old Democratic organiza- 
tion in the county about two thousand votes ; and yet with this 
great defection, such was the popularity of Mr. Ives, that he 
came within less than three hundred votes of defeating his 
Whig competitor. 

In the year 1852, being again placed in nomination by his 
party to represent it in Congress, he was elected by a majority 
of some seven hundred votes. 

Mr. Ives was the chief instigator in the establishment of the 
orphan asylum at Watertown, and interested himself largely 

in obtaining subscriptions for the same, which, added to the a 
afforded by the State, left that institution free from any incu: 
brance from its beginning. 

He has been, and still is, a large contributor to the suppc 
of the seminary at Antwerp bearing his name. Mr. Ives w 
one of the originators and organizers of the Syracuse Unive 
sity, and, with Bishop Jesse T. Peck and others, founded i 
institution destined to be among the first in the United State 
He has been one of the trustees since its organization, E 
has been connected with the Jefferson County Bible Sociel 
nearly the entire time since its formation as contributor, aw 
for the past thirty years, a part of the time as its presideni 
In early life he took a deep interest in Sunday-school work, an 
has labored earnestly for the propagation of that interest, an 
also as a co-laborer in the social meetings of his church. 

At the general conference held in Brooklyn, New York, c 
the Methodist Episcopal church, the first in which lay member 
had a representation, he was a delegate. He was one of th 
incorporators of the " Thousand Island Camp Meeting Asso 
ciation," which in so short a time has become a place of grea 
religious interest, and since its organization he and his wif 
have spent much time at that popular resort. His zeal seemi 
not to wane so long as he can assist in putting forward anj 
enterprise looking to the building up of good society, anii 
the propagation of Christian principles among men. He if 
identified with the Agricultural Fire Insurance Company, ol 
Watertown, as a director ; also director and president of the 
Watertown Fire Insurance Company ; and is also president and 
one of the stockholders of the Merchants' Bank, of Watertown, 
and holds the same position in the Davis Sewing Machine Com- 
pany, of the city of Watertown. 

It is seldom the biographer is able to record the sketch of a 
man whose life seems so wholly devoted to the best interests 
of his fellow-men as does Mr. Ives', and to the rising generation 
many useftil lessons may be given by a careftd perusal of this 
brief biography of one of Jefferson County's citizens. 



for that they would be all the time fearing that they might 
be robbed in his absence." His story was uniformly con- 
sistent with itself, and was undoubtedly well conned. Mr. 
Keyes, in the mean time, had been sent for. Mr. Fair- 
banks met him on the way, and passing him requested him 
to call at his shop as soon as he should have closed the 
interview at Mr. "Whittlesey's. 

When they met an hour afterwards, and compared notes, 
they found themselves perfectly agreed as to the probability 
of Mr. Whittlesey's guilt in the matter, and they decided 
at once on their course, which was to seem to have the 
most unqualified confidence in the truth of Whittlesey's 
statements, and of his honesty, and then trust to time and 
their ingenuity to unravel the plot and to secure the money. 
Another object which they conceived to be important to 
them, in the relation they sustained to the government, 
was to persuade Mr. W^hittlesey to secure them with his 
real estate, so far as it would go, against their liabilities ; 
on the pri^nciple that it was only just to them that he 
should freely yield up what he had, to make up so large a 
sum, and which was above their ability to meet. They 
met a day or two afterwards at Whittlesey's house, and 
suggested the above matter of a conveyance of his property 
to them ; to which he very cheerfully agreed, thus con- 
firming them very much in their suspicions that he had 
that large sum, which he supposed he was going to fall 
back upon, and with which his little property seemed of 
very little moment in the comparison. It was a circum- 
stance that they weighed well. The security amounted to 
about $2000 in cash value, though Mr. AVhittlesey esti- 
mated it as high as $5000. 

After they had effected their object in securing them- 
selves as far as could be done out of Whittlesey's property, 
they made their arrangements for the most perfect espionage 
upon the movements of the Whittlesey family, for the pur- 
pose of obtaining some clue to the present whereabouts of 
the money. A part of the plan was to spend most of their 
evenings at Whittlesey's, in mutual plans for ferreting out 
the rascal who had so successfully robbed him, and thus 
ruined them all. They soon discovered that the sleeping- 
room of Whittlesey and wife was in a chamber on the back 
end of the house, and that a position on the roof of the 
wood-house, where it united with the house, would possi- 
bly give them favorable opportunities for eavesdropping. 
Fairbanks had a light, short ladder, which he procured for 
the purpose, with which one or the other of them climbed 
to the position selected, while the other kept them occupied 
in the passage-way to the front door in leave-taking, or 
after-thoughts and suggestions which had occurred to him. 
After a while it was arranged that Fairbanks should go 
to New York, ostensibly to take a prisoner to the State's 
prison, but more particularly for the purpose of ascertain- 
ing from the ofEcers of the bank what sized package the 
135,000 made, so as to form a better conclusion whether 
such a package could by any possibility pass through such 
an aperture as was made in the portmanteau. Another ob- 
ject was to see Chauncey Whittlesey, the eldest son of the 
family, and ascertain by an interview with him why he was 
in New York at the time his father was there, he being at 
the time assistant-surgeon, or surgeon's mate, in the United 

States navy. He ascertained to his satisfaction, however, 
that he was ashore on leave, while his vessel was on a short 
cruise ; and that he was quite short of pocket-mon'ey ; and 
that he was in no way connected with the plot. 

Mr. Fairbanks then came home and had an interview 
with Mr. Keyes, who had kept a regular watch on the roof 
of Whittlesey's wood-shed during his absence, and had 
overheard enough to satisfy himself that their suspicions of 
him were well founded. There was no question of the 
money being in the possession or under the control of Mr. 
and Mrs. Whittlesey. 

In the mean time Whittlesey and his wife had been busy 
in efforts to got small parcels of these bills into the hands 
of various individuals, — innocent parties, — with a kind of 
vague, indefinite hope that it might be found upon them, 
and thus have a tendency to divert public attention from 
themselves. With that end in view they made small de- 
posits of that particular money on the premises of various 

Marked bills amounting to $400 had been dropped on 
the road to Sacket's Harbor, and were found by a Mr. Gale, 
who counted and sealed them before witness ; and after the 
disclosure brought them forward. Marked bills had also 
been left on the premises of Mr. Chillus Doty, of Martins- 
burgh, at whose place Mr. Whittlesey stayed overnight 
on his way to Trenton with the money ; and after- 
wards — when he had been forced to disgorge the large 
balance — he proceeded on horseback to repossess himself of 
it ; as he reluctantly admitted to the late Dr. Amasa Trow- 
bridge, who insisted on knowing where he had been riding 
so hard as to jade his horse so much. Marked bills were 
also found on the premises of Joseph Shelden, who kept a 
tavern in Martinsburgh, and which were afterwards returned 
to the sureties. 

It was also during the absence of Mr. Fairbanks in New 
York, with the State's prisoner, as before related, that Cap- 
tain Setli Otis, of this town, disclosed to Mr. Keyes the 
fact that he had received of Whittlesey $100 in bills of 
the same bank, in payment for that amount of money 
which he had some time before loaned, on call, to him. He 
stated that he had at first felt unwilling to give them up, 
because he did not feel able to lose that amount of money. 
But Mr. Keyes very soon made him easy on that score, 
assuring him that they would give him their equivalent in 
gold ; for that they were the only clue that he had been able 
to get to the missing money ; charging him, however, as he 
valued his friendship, not to divulge a syllable to mortal 
man or woman on the subject. 

This last fact, together with little nameless appearances 
of the guilty parties, added to what had been gained by 
eavesdropping, had had the effect to confirm them in the 
belief that they had the money, and hence that there was no 
time to be lost in an effort to " circumvent the cunning old 
sarpent" who was the chief plotter in all this complicated 
ruin. But precisely where the money was was the great 

Keyes had overheard enough to satisfy himself that any 
effort to recover it must needs be made very soon, as they were 
evidently concocting a plan for flight to parts unknown, 
within a very short period, and he had heard noises that 



indicated the boxing up of goods in the house at late hours 
in the night. 

A number of schemes were proposed and discussed be- 
tween them, having reference to operating on Mr. Whittle- 
sey's feare, in order to frighten him into a disclosure of the 
place of deposit ; but there were objections to each and all, 
until Keyes suggested that in his experience as a raftman 
he had found that nothing seemed to take the pluck and 
courage out of a man like partial drowning ; and he had 
come to the conclusion that it was a kind of torture they 
could graduate and protract at their pleasure, by selecting 
a pit filled with water for the purpose. He had just such 
a place in his mind, on his own farm, as would answer their 
purpose. They proceeded together to the place, and made 
their preparations accordingly. Their scheme succeeded 
admirably ; they got Whittlesey to the place without ex- 
citing his suspicions, and charged him with the theft of the 

Whittlesey surveyed his two friends with calmness and 
seeming self-possession, and calling God to witness the truth 
of his allegations, he proceeded to reiterate his oft-told tale. 
Keyes thereupon seized him, and, with a little of Fairbanks' 
help, placed him in the water. After being strangled a 
little they allowed him to scramble out. Being again in- 
terrogated, and assured if the money were restored no legal 
proceedings would be instituted, he again protested his 
innocence most solemnly, and with a calmness most unac- 

They proceeded to plunge him in a second time, and 
held him there until to their amazement he appeared dead ! 
They however succeeded in restoring him to consciousness, 
and then repeated to him that they had availed themselves 
of means of knowing for a certainty the fact of his having 
the money under his control, though they could not lay 
their hands upon it. They told him that their minds were 
fully made up, and that it depended entirely on himself 
whether he survived the process to which they had resorted, 
in their desperation, to save themselves from ruin. After 
prolonging this kind of talk until he had so far recovered 
as to make it safe to repeat the process, Mr. Fairbanks 
turned to Mr. Keyes and said, " You help me put him in 
once more ; then give me what money you have got, — take 
care of yourself for your family's sake. I have no family 
and want no witnesses of the concluding part of this pro- 
cess. I will write you from Kingston and tell you where 
to direct a letter to me." They then shook hands and ten- 
derly took leave of each other, when Mr. Keyes gave Fair- 
banks some $90 and walked off. Fairbanks informed his sub- 
ject that his time had come. His arms were pinioned behind 
him in such a way that he could oifer no resistance, and 
finding things looking desperate and himself sinking again 
in the water, he cried out, " Fll own it ! I'll own it I" 
Keyes was immediately called back, and they proceeded to 
put him in a position to give them the information they so 
much coveted. 

He said the money was in his wife's possession, and either 
under a tile in the hearth of a chamber, which he described, 
or in his wife's bed-room in another chamber ; that it had 
been sometimes in the cellar in a place which he described 
but always in her custody and under her special control. 

He said he never should have been guilty of this wicked- 
ness but for the fact of his having been robbed at Schen- 
ectady of $8700, for which he was wholly unable to account, 
and which he had never spoken of before or advertised, 
because his wife had persuaded him of the impossibility of 
satisfying the public that any robber would have taken only 
part of an entire package of money and left the largest 

After Whittlesey had made this disclosure, it was agreed 
that Keyes should go to the house and get possession of the 
money, while Fairbanks should stay in charge of the cul- 
prit ; that if Keyes did not find it he should come back, 
and, from a corner of his barn, which could be seen from 
their position at the water-hole, give a signal which would 
be understood, after which, '' dead men tell no tales." After 
Keyes had gone for the purpose of seeing whether the 
money was where he had described, Fairbanks asked the 
old man whether ho had sent him on a fool's errand, but 
was answered that he had told all he knew. He protested 
that there was the $8700 spoken of before, which he knew 
nothing about, and inquired anxiously whether they in- 
tended to hold him responsible for that sum. In about an 
hour Keyes came back and released his friend and their 
prisoner. Whittlesey begged hard to be released on the 
spot, and Keyes was disposed to let him go, but Fairbanks 
was determined to restore him back to his own dwelling 
where he had taken him from. Keyes proceeded imme- 
diately again to where he had left the money, with Dr. Paul 
Hutchinson and John M. Canfield, while Fairbanks and 
Whittlesey proceeded more deliberately through the main 
streets, Washington and Court, to the residence of Mr. 
Whittlesey, which was directly opposite the Clerk's ofiice 
on Court street. 

We now go back to say that Mr. Keyes had procured 
the assistance of Messrs. Hutchinson and Canfield as he 
went to the house for the purpose of an interview with 
Mrs. Whittlesey in order to get possession of the money. 
Seeing them approach she fled to her chamber, and on their 
knocking for admission, she replied that she was changing 
her dress and would meet them shortly. As it was not the 
time or place for much etiquette, Mr. Keyes rudely burst 
open the door, and on entering found her reclining on the 
bed, and disregarding her expostulations of impropriety, 
proceeded to search, and soon found between the straw- and 
feather-beds upon which she lay a pair of quilted drawers, 
when she exclaimed, " You've got it ! My God ! Have I 
come to this ?" The drawers bore the initials of Colonel 
Tuttle, of the United States Army, who had died a short 
time before in that house under very suspicious circum- 
stances. They were fitted with two sets of buttons, for 
either herself or her husband to wear, and contained about 
thirty parcels of bills, labeled, " For any dear son C, 250 of 
5's ; for my dear daughter E., 150 of 3's," etc., amounting 
to $15,000 for her five children, the remainder being re- 
served for her own use. The garment also contained a most 
extraordinary document, which might be called her will, 
and about which she expressed the most urgent solicitude, 
imploring that it might be destroyed, by the earnest appeal 
that " You have children as well as I." It was soon after 
published in the papers, and was as follows : 



" It is my last and dying roqaest that my children shall have all 
the money that is contained in the papers which have their names 
on, — which is $3000 for each, and let there be pains and caution and 
a great length of time taken to exchange it in. God and my own 
heart knows the misery I have suffered in consequence of it, and that 
it was much a^gaanst my will that it should be done. I have put all 
that is in the same bank by it, that I had from prudence and a great 
number of years been gathering up, and when I used to meet with 
bills on that bank in your possession, or when I could I used to ex- 
change others for them, as I supposed it was the best and most per- 
manent bank. You know the reason of your taking this was that 
we supposed that from the look of the small trunk being broken, and 
the large one being all loose and the nails out, that wo were robbed 
on the road of $8700. You know that [ always told you that I be- 
lieved that it was done in the yard, where you, as I told you then, 
put the wagon imprudently in Schenectady. Oh, how much misery 
am I born to see through all your improper conduct, which I am 
forced to conceal from the world for the sake of my beloved otfspring's 
credit, and whereby I have got enemies undeservedly, while the pub- 
lie opinion was in your favor! But it fully evinces what false judg- 
ments the world makes. Oh ! the God who tries the hearts and 
searches the veins of the children of men knows that the kind of 
misery which T have suffered, and which has riled and soured my 
temper, and has made me appear cross and morose to the public eye, 
has all proceeded from you, and fixed in my countenance the mark 
of an ill-natured disposition, which was naturally formed for loves, 
friendships, and all other refined sensations. How have I falsified 
the truth that you might appear to every advantage, at the risk and 
ill-opinion of the sensible world toward myself, when my conscience 
was telling me I was doing wrong; and which, with everything else 
I have suffered since I have been a married woman, has worn me 
down and kept me out of health; and now, oh now, this last act is 
bringing me to my grave fast. I consented because you placed me 
in the situation you did. 

" In the first place, you were delinquent to the Government of $1800 
or $1900. Then this almost $9000 missing, I found when you come 
to settle that you never could make it good without sacrificing me 
and my children, was the reason I consented to the proposal. I did 
you the justice to believe that if the last sum had not been missing, 
that you would not have done a."! you did. But lam miserable! God 
grant that my dear children may never fall into the like error that 
their father has, and their poor unfortunate mother consented to. 
May the Almighty forgive us both, for I forgive you all you have 
made me sufi'er.*' 

On counting the money it was found to embrace a part 
of the sum which was supposed to have been stolen at 
Schenectady, and no one was more surprised than Whittle- 
sey himself, to find that he had been robbed at that place 
by his own wife. 

The fame of this discovery soon spread, and it was with 
difficulty that the people were restrained from evincing their 
joy by the discharge of cannon. In the mean time Mr. 
Whittlesey had been placed under guard in the room with 
his wife until further search, and here the most bitter 
criminations were exchanged, each charging the other with 
crime, and the wife upbraiding the husband with cowardice 
in revealing the secret. The guard being withdrawn for a 
moment in the confusion that ensued, Mrs. Whittlesey passed 
from the house to cross the old cemetery on the lot in rear 
of the site of Trinity Church, where, on passing the grave 
of her son, Samuel Gilbert, a lad of some fifteen years, she 
paused, faltered, and fell back, overwhelmed with awful 
emotions, but a moment after, gathering new energy, she 
hastened on, rushed over the high bank near the ice-cave, 
and plunged into the river. Her body was found floating 
near the Lower Bridge, and efforts were made to restore 
life, but it was extinct. 

The funeral of Mrs. Whittlesey was attended by Rev. 
Daniel Banks, who preached from the Sixth commandment 

as a text, and read the hymn in Watts' collection commen- 
cing with " Death, 'tis a melancholy day." She was buried' 
in the cemetery back of the Episcopal church, beside her 
son, and near Colonel Tuttle, whom she was supposed to 
have poisoned. 

Mr. Whittlesey remained in town nearly a year, and then 
moved to Indiana, where he afterwards became a justice of 
the peace and a county judge, and by an exemplary life won 
the respect of the community ; and although the details of 
this affair followed him, yet the censure of opinion rested 
upon the wife. 

Congress, on the 11th of January, 1821, passed an act 
directing the Secretary of the Treasury to cancel and sur- 
render the bond given by Whittlesey, and indorsed by Fair- 
banks and Keyes, on condition of the latter giving another, 
payable with interest in two years, for the balance remain- 
ing unaccounted for, — thus virtually closing up a business 
arrangement which had been a continued occasion for anx- 
iety and trouble to them through successive years. 

It was at a time in the history of our country when men 
doing business with the Government were very properly held 
to a strict accountability for every dollar of the people's 
money, and they paid the utmost farthing. 

In speaking of the Whittlesey matter, within a few years, 
to the author of the history of Jefi'erson County, Mr. Fair- 
banks said : 

"Before we executed our plan we had positive evidence of his 
knowledge of the transaction, and of his guilt; and, on the strength 
of that, we did not expect to proceed to extremities further than to 
frighten him until he informed us where the money was secreted. 
But his stubbornness held out much longer than we supposed it would 
or could. When we put the evidence of his guilt before him in such 
a plain manner his looks were evidence of it. We informed him that 
there was no doubt about it, and I believe that there is not one case 
in a thousand where evidence was so palpable as in this case. But 
Lynch Law is a dangerous one, and I would not advise it. But with 
other guilty parties who have stolen from me and been detected, I 
believe I have used more mild and lenient measures. I have probably . 
caught twenty persons pilfering from me, and I have always made 
them give me a confession in writing, and then promised them, that 
as they had relations who would be disgraced by their bad conduct, 
that I would keep it a profound secret until they committed the crime 
a"-ain, when I would prosecute theai. I found this plan the surest 
method of reforming them." 


The village of Y/"atertown was incorporated April 5, 1816. 
The act provided for the election of five trustees, w"ho were 
to possess the powers and immunities usually vested in sim- 
ilar corporations. These extended to the formation of a fire 
department, the construction of water-works, regulation of 
markets, streets, etc. ; the building of hay -scales, super- 
vision of weights and measures, and whatever related to 
the preservation of health or the suppression of nuisances. 
Three assessors, a treasurer, collector, and five fire-wardens 
were to be elected. Fines, not exceeding $25, might be 
imposed. The annual election was to occur on the first 
Monday of May, and the trustees were to choose one of 
their number for president, and some proper person for 
clerk. The president, with the advice of the trustees, was 
to appoint a company, not exceeding twenty, of firemen, 
and to enforce, in the name of the trustees, the ordinances 
and reo-ulations which they might establish. The village 



of Watertowa was constituted one road district, and ex- 
empted from the jurisdiction of the town commissioners. 

On April 7, 1820, an act was passed altering the bounds 
of the village and amending the charter ; and on April 
17, 1826, and April 26, 1831, the charter was still further 
amended. March 22, 1832, the trustees were empowered 
by an act to borrow a sum, not exceeding 12000, to im- 
prove the fire department of the village, and supply it with 
water to be used in fires, and April 21, 1832, the doings 
at an election were confirmed. An act was passed April 
23, 1835, granting additional powers to the trustees, re- 
pealing former provisions of the charter, and authorizing 
the erection of a market. The village charter was amended 
by an act of April 16, 1852, by which its bounds were in- 
creased, the district included directed to be divided into 
from five to seven wards. A president, three assessors, a 
clerk, treasurer, collector, and two police constables were 
to be elected annually, and one trustee to each ward, of 
which there are five. Elections are held on the first Mon- 
day of Blarch, and the powers and duties of the trustees 
were much extended. 

The first village election was held at the house of Isaac 
Lee, in May, 1816, David Bucklin, Esq., presiding, and the 
following ofiicers were chosen : Timothy Burr, Egbert Ten 
Eyck, Olney Pearce, Marianus W. Gilbert, and Norris M. 
Woodruff, trustees ; Reuben Goodale, William Smith, Or- 
ville Hungerford, assessors ; Micah Sterling, treasurer ; Seth 
Otis, collector ; Jabez Foster, Samuel Watson, Jr., Rufus 
Backus, William Fletcher, Joseph Henry, fire wardens. 

Following is a list of presidents during the existence of 
the village: 1816, Timothy Burr ; 1817, Isaac Lee ; 1818, 
Orren Stone; 1819, William Smith; 1820, Egbert Ten 
Eyck; 1821, Olney Pearce; 1822, David W. BuckHn ; 
1823-24, Orville Hungerford; 1825-26, Olney Pearce; 
1827-31, Norris M. Woodruff; 1832, Jason Fairbanks; 
1833-35, 0. Hungerford; 1836, Jasou Fairbanks; 1837- 
38, Dyer Huntington ; 1839, David D. Otis ; 1840, George 
C. Sherman ; 1841, William Wood ; 1842^3, William H. 
Robinson; 1844, Benjamin Cory; 1845, D. Huntington ; 
1846, Orville Brainard ; 1847, Stephen Boon ; 1848, Peter 
S. Howk; 1849-50, D. D. Otis; 1851, Joshua Moore; 
1852, K. Hannahs; 1853-54, Joseph Mullin ; 1855, Ran- 
dolph Barnes; 1856-58, Henry H. Babcock ; 1859, Am- 
brose W. Clark ; 1860-63, Henry H. Babcock; 1864-65, 
John M. Carpenter; 1866, George A. Bagley ; 1867, 
Wilbur F. Porter; 1868, Lysander H. Brown; 1869, 
Edmund B. Wynn. 

The trustees, at their first meeting, divided the village 
into five wards, to each of which a fire warden was to be 
assigned, and each was to be supplied with four ladders. A 
series of regulations providing against fires and making pro- 
visions for the several objects named in the charter was also 
adopted. A fire company was organized May 28, 1817, 
and at a meeting of freeholders .called for the purpose June 
10, the sum of- 1200 was voted for the purchase of a fire- 
engine. February 6, 1818, $500 was voted to assist in build- 
ing a bridge near Newel's brewery. May 4, 1818, a com- 
mittee of three appointed to confer with the supervisors 
concerning the purchase of a bell for the court-house. Oc- 
tober 27, 1823, a plan for a cemetery, previously purchased 

of H. Massey, was accepted, and on December 6, 1825, the 
lots, one rod square each, were balloted for, each taxable 
resident being entitled to one share. To non-residents 
lots might be sold, the proceeds to be applied to the build- 
ing of a tomb. A hook-and-ladder company was voted to 
be formed in May, 1826. 

At a meeting held November 24, 1831, the inhabitants 
advised the trustees to purchase a new fire-engine, and the 
sum of 150 was directed to be drawn out of the village 
treasury, and presented to Messrs. Barrett and Parker for 
their prompt and efiicient exertions with their new engine 
at the late fire in the village. A fire company, to be at- 
tached to the engine belonging to the Jefferson Cotton 
Mills, was formed August 6, 1832. Dyer Huntington was 
at the same time appointed chief engineer, and Adriol Ely 
assistant engineer of the fire department.* 

On June 19, 1832, a special meeting of trustees was held 
to adopt measures to prevent the spread of the Asiatic 
cholera, which was at that time spreading terror through- 
out the country. Sobriety, regularity, temperance, and 
cleanliness were recommended as the most efficient prevent- 
ives of the disease. One trustee, one fire warden, one phy- 
sician, and three citizens were appointed in each ward to 
take efiicient measures for enforcing sanitary regulations. 
A special meeting of citizens convened at Parson's hotel 
on the next day, and after the reading of several papers 
from Albany, Ogdensburgh, and Prescott, a " committee of 
health,'' consisting of twelve persons, was appointed, and 
Drs. Trowbridge, Crawe, Wright, Green, Goodale, Sykes, 
Bagg, and Safford were named as a committee to consult 
with the health committee. The State and national legis- 
latures were petitioned for a law preventing the landing of 
foreigners, and for powers similar to those given to cities. 
The surrounding towns and villages were invited to co-op- 
erate in the adoption of sanitary measures. Three days 
after the passage of the act of June 22, for the preserva- 
tion of the public health, the following persons, viz.: Ma- 
rianus W. Gilbert, Levi Beebee, John Sigourney, Orville 
Hungerford, William Smith, Norris M. Woodruff, and 
Peleg Burchard, were appointed a board of health, and Dr. 
I. B. Crawe was elected health officer. On the 3d of May, 
1833, the board of health consisted of William Smith, 
Levi Beebee, P. Burchard, N. M. Woodruff, and John 
Sigourney. Dr. I. B. Crawe, health officer. On intelli- 
gence being received from Montreal of the reappearance of 
the cholera, a special meeting of trustees was called, Au- 
gust 1, 1834, and a new board of health appointed. 

In compliance with an act of 1832, and in pursuance of 
the proclamation of the governor, the trustees pf Water- 
town, June 19, 1849, organized a board of health, to adopt 
sanitary regulations as preventives of the Asiatic cholera, 
then ravaging some sections of the Union. . 

A census of Watertown, taken in April, 1827, gave 
1098 males and 941 females; a gain of 500 in two years. 
There were 321 buildings, of which 224 were dwellings ; 3 
stone churches (Methodist, Universalist, and Presbyterian) ; 
court-house and jail ; clerk's office ; arsenal ; 1 cotton-fac- 
tory with 1300 spindles, another (Beebee's) then building; 

® Soc under liead "Fire Department." 


Residence of T. A.SMITH ,Watertown,N. Y. 



1 woolen-factory ; 3 paper-mills ; 3 large tanneries ; 3 flour- 
ing-mills ; 1 furnace ; 1 nail-factory; 2 machine-shops; 2 
fulling-mills ; 3 carding-machines ; 2 distilleries ; 1 ashery ; 

2 pail-factories ; 1 sash-factory ; 2 chair-factories ; 1 hat- 
factory ; 4 wagon-shops ; 2 paint-shops ; 4 cabinet- and 
joiner-shops ; 8 blacksmiths ; 4 tailor-shops ; 7 shoe-shops ; 

3 saddle- and harness-shops ; 8 taverns ; 15 dry-good stores ; 
2 hardware-stores ; 2 hat-stores ; 2 book -stores ; 2 leather- 
stores ; I paint-store ; 2 druggists ; 2 jewelers ; 2 weekly 
papers ; 7 public schools; 6 physicians, and 10 lawyers. 

In 1829 an association was formed for boring for water 
on Factory square, and a hole two and a half inches in di- 
ameter was drilled to the depth of 127 feet, when water 
was obtained that rose to the surface, and, having been 
tubed, has since discharged (except in very dry seasons, 
when it requires pumping) a copious volume of water, 
slightly charged with sulphur and iron. The cost of the 
work was about $800. On Sewall's island a similar well 
was bored, which at eighty feet discharged water and in- 
flammable gas ; but upon being sunk further these were 
both lost. 

Black river, within the distance of a mile, passes over 
four dams, at each of which are numerous establishments, 
but at none of them is the full amount of water-power 
used. The focility with which dams can be constructed, 
and the security that can be given to buildings erected 
upon them, from the bed of the river being solid rook, 
gives additional value to these privileges. The four dams 
were built in 1803, 1805, 1814, and 1835, and none of 
them have been impaired by the spring floods. The river 
is crossed by three bridges, of which the lower one was 
first erected. Soon after the beginning at Factory Village, 
one was erected there ; and one over the cascade, near the 
ruins of Beebee's factory, in the summer of 1836. This 
consisted of a single- arch of timbers, and was built by 
Hiram Merrill, for the two towns it connects, at a cost of 
$764. In the fall of 1853 the present elegant bridge was 
erected, the old one having decayed so as to render its use 

The business of the place early centered around the pub- 
lic square, especially at its west end, and on Court and 
Washington streets ; and in 1815 John Paddock erected a 
three-story block, which was the first edifice of its size and 
class in the town. The corner of Washington and Arse- 
nal streets became, at an early day, the site of a two-story 
wooden tavern, and was occupied until 1827, when an as- 
sociation of citizens desiring to have a hotel in the place 
that should compare with those of the first class in cities, 
was formed under the name of the Watertown hotel com- 
pany,. having a capital of $20,000. In the same year they 
erected the American Hotel, and this establishment con- 
tinued to be owned by the company until burned in 1849, 
when the site was sold for $10,000, and the present build- 
ing of the same name was erected on its site by individual 

Watertown has been repeatedly devastated by fires, some 
of which produced a decided check to its prosperity, while 
others acted beneficially by removing rubbish that would 
otherwise have disfigured the village for time indefinite, 
and from which the place recovered with an elastic energy 

characteristic of a progressive age and people. On Feb- 
ruary 7, 1833, a fire occurred which burned the extensive 
tannery and oil-mill of Mr. J. Fairbanks, the paper-mill 
and printing-ofiice of Knowlton & Rice, and a morocco- 
factory and dwelling of Kitts & Carpenter; loss about 
$30,000. The destruction of Beebee's factory, July 7, 
1833, has been above jiotioed. On December 22, 1841, 
the Black River woolen-mills, in Factory Village, were 
burned; also elsewhere mentioned. On March 21,1848, 
a fire occurred in an old stone shop, near the Union mills, 
which spread rapidly to the buildings on the island oppo- 
site, and to others above, which, with the bridge, were rap- 
idly consumed ; and two men, named Leonard Wright and 
Levi Palmer, perished in the flames, having entered a 
woolen -mill for the purpose of rescuing property. Among 
the buildings burned were the paper-mill of Knowlton & 
Rice, the satinet-factory of Mr. Patridge, occupied by W. 
Conkey, a row of mechanics' shops on the island, etc. This 
fire threw many laborers and mechanics out of employment, 
and was seriously felt by the public. Contributions for the 
sufferers were raised in the village, and nearly $1100 were 
distributed among them. 

Early in the morning of May 13, 1849, a fire occurred 
in the rear of the American Hotel, corner of Arsenal and 
Washington streets, which swept over a considerable por- 
tion of the business part of the village, and consumed an 
immense amount of property. The Amsrican Hotel, Pad- 
dock's block. Woodruff's iron block, and all the buildings 
on both sides of Court street, as far down as the clerk's 
office, were burned. The Episcopal church, three printing- 
ofiices, about thirty extensive stores, the post-ofl5ce. Black 
River bank , Wooster Sherman's bank, Henry Keep's bank, 
town-clerk's oflGice, Young Men's Association, surrogate's 
ofiice, and many dwelling-houses were in the burnt district. 
This was by far the most disastrous fire that has occurred 
in the county, and nothing more fully proves the enterprise 
of the place than the quickness with which it recovered 
from the disaster. While the flames were still raging, 
preparations for rebuilding were made by purchasing mate- 
rials, and laborers were seen pulling the bricks, still hot, 
from the smouldering ruins, and laying the foundations of 
new and larger buildings on the site of the former. The 
sites of the burnt buildings were, in many instances, sold 
for a greater svm than the same, with the buildings on 
them, would have ■previously brought. During the ensuing 
summer the village exhibited an industry among masons 
and carpenters which had never been equaled, and the ex- 
ternal appearance of the village has been decidedly improved. 

On September 24, 1850, a fire occurred on Sterling street, 
from which the burning shingles were wafted to the steeple 
of the Universalist church,, and when first noticed had kin- 
dled a flame not larger than that of a candle ; but before 
the place could be reached, it had enveloped the spire in 
flames, beyond hope of arresting it, and the building was 
consumed. With the utmost exertions of the firemen and 
citizens of the village, the fire was prevented from extend- 
in"- farther. January 27, 1851, Perkins' Hotel, on the site 
of the Merchants' Exchange, was burned, with a large block 
on Washington street, adjacent. The loss was estimated at 
about $25,000. 



In the autumn of 1862, six different fires occurred, on 
six successive Friday evenings, and at very near the same 
hour of the day, all evidently incendiary, which created a 
great amount of excitement. Among the buildings burned 
was the old " Suffar-IIuuse," on the corner of Massey and 
Coffeen streets, built by Henry Coffeen. Several dwellings 
were also fired in various parts of .the village, and a por- 
tion of them consumed. The two fires mentioned in the 
succeeding paragraphs occurred during the time spoken of. 

October 16, 1852, a fire occurred on the opposite, or west, 
side of Washington street, which consumed all the build- 
ings south of Paddock's block, viz. : Hungerford's block, 
Citizen's bank, and Sherman's block. The loss was esti- 
mated at about $14,000, of which the greater part was 
insured. Mechanics' Row, below the Union mills, was 
burned November 5, 1852 ; loss about $20,000, of which 
between $6000 and $7000 were insured. From fifty to 
sixty mechanics were thrown out of employment ; and one 
young man, Hudson Hadcock, perished in the flames while 
endeavoring to rescue property. 

On the evening of July 23, 1863, a fire broke out in the 
extensive foundry, car-factory, and machine-shop of Horace 
W. Woodruff, Esq., on the north bank of the river, oppo- 
site .Beebee's Island, which, with all its contents, was rapidly 
consumed. About seventy men were thrown out of em- 
ployment by this calamity, which was felt by great num- 
bers indirectly concerned in the works, and by the public 
generally. On the night of December 11, 1853, a fire 
consumed the building erected for a tannery, but used as a 
sash- and butter-tub-factory, on the south side of Beebee's 
Island, adjoining the bridge, and owned by Jlessrs. Farn- 
ham & Button. 

Soon after the fire of 1849, Norris M. Woodruff erected 
the spacious and elegant hotel that adorns the north side 
of the square, and there arose, simultaneous, from the ashes 
of the former, a range of buildings, extending down Court 
street and on Washington street, fronting upon the public 
mall, that for architectural beauty have few superiors. 
Prominent among these are the Paddock buildings, includ- 
ing the Arcade, which, from its containing the post-oiEce, 
telegraph-office, etc., has become a point of much impor- 
tance. This building extends from Washington to Arcade 
street, is roofed with, and contains, on each side, both 
on the ground floor and a gallery, a range of stores and 
ofiices, the whole of which are airy and well lighted. At 
all seasons this affords a dry and comfortable promenade, 
and is a place of much resort. 


Watertown was incorporated as a city under an act passed 
May 8, 1869. The original charter has been twice 
amended, to wit, on April 27, 1870, and April 28, 1871. 
The limits of the village were greatly enlarged upon its 
erection into a city, and made to include a large area taken 
from the town of Pamelia, embracing all the built-up por- 
tions upon the right bank of tiio river and extensive tracts 
besides. The total area occupied by the city approximates 
6500 acres, nearly three- fourths of which is upon the south 
side of Black river, and originally constituted a part of 
Town No. 2, of the " Black River Eleven Towns." 


Watertown, as it is, is a thrifty, enterprising, and pros- 
perous city, the county-seat of a prosperous county, the 
leading city of northern New York, a source of pride to 
her citizens, and a monument of what energy and industry 
have done for her. Situated in the centre of a fertile 
and productive region, she possesses important commer- 
cial advantages, given her by nature, unexcelled any- 
where. Her people have made diligent use of these, not 
only enriching themselves thereby, but increasing her 
strength, adding to her influence, and multiplying her at- 
tractions. Peopled by an industrious population, many of 
whom have grown up with her growth and strengthened 
with her strength, her progress and development bear evi- 
dences of an industry and a progressive spirit which have 
made fertile fields of her forests, trained the rushing waters 
to do their bidding, overcome all obstacles, taken advantage 
of every opportunity to increase her stability, made the 
most of every inducement offered, and established herself 
and her industries upon a strong and safe foundation. 
Beautiful in herself by nature, the labors of her citizens 
have preserved that beauty to her. She is yet young in 
her progress, but no other city excels her in beautiful loca- 
tion, handsome streets, bountiful shade, elegant public and 
private buildings, or hospitable people. Evidences of wealth 
and strength, industry, energy, and intelligence, everywhere 
abound, the ready proofs of a healthy and wide-awake com- 
munity. Her water-power is practically unlimited, her 
manufactures important, her school system in the front 
rank, her railway advantages excellent, her banking institu- 
tions believed to be among the soundest in the State, her 
commercial industries numerous and active, her business 
men generally noted for enterprise, and her facilities for 
extending her influence and increasing her usefulness com- 
paratively unlimited. 

With these are connected and interwoven a generous 
social life, a friendly spirit, cordiality, hospitality, excellent 
newspapers, prosperous churches, and all the elements which 
make a refined, agreeable, and attractive community. The 
wisdom of the founders of the city is demonstrated in the 
prosperity of the present. 


In 1800 there were 119 voters, and in 1801, 134 voters 
in what was then the town of Watertown, according to the 
first official " count" ever made of the voting population of 
the then '' far west Black River country." The census re- 
turns of 1807, the first formal figures obtained, gave the 
number of legal voters with property qualifications only. 
The following table will give an idea of the steady growth 
of the village and city : 








1876t l"'"*' 






1814 2,468 

18iO 2,706 

1826 3,426 

1830 4,708 

1836 4,279 


•^ City only. 

f There ia every reason to believe that the census of 1875 was 
hastily taken and inoorrcct, and a private census, taken in 18i6, 
places the population at over 11,000. 




Watertown has just reason to feel proud of and confi- 
dence in her fire department, and we feel disposed to 
enumerate it among her attractions. It is certainly a just 
claim that no other city of its size can boast a more efiect- 
ive fire organization, while it is equally true that many 
cities contEiining five times her population cannot surpass, 
even if they equal her. 

The original charter incorporating the village of Water- 
town (April 5, 1816) provided for the election of five fire 
wardens, each of whom was supplied with four ladders. 
Each owner or occupant of any building was' obliged to 
furnish one or two buckets, according to the size of the 
structure, and to have them properly marked, and kept in 
a convenient place for use. It was also " ordained" that 
on an alarm or cry of fire every male inhabitant of fifteen 
years and upwards should repair to the place of the fire 
" forthwith" and put himself under the direction of the 
fire wardens. A fine of one dollar was imposed for " dis- 
obeying orders." Each warden was furnished with a white 
Etas' seven feet long by which to " distinguish" himself in 
time of fire. 

The first fire company was organized May 28, 1817, and 
on September 27 following, at a meeting of the " free- 
holders,'' the sum of $200 was voted towards the purchase 
of a first-class fire-engine. The " Cataract" was purchased 
soon afterwards, the county and village sharing equally in 
the expense. The same meeting authorized the formation 
of a hook-and-ladder company, and William Smith was its 
first captain. August 6, 1832, the second engine company 
was formed, and attached to the fire-engine belonging to 
the Jefferson cotton-mills. This company was No. 1, and 
the one previously organized. Cataract Company, No. 2. 
Dyer Huntington was chosen chief engineer, and Adriel 
Ely assistant. In 1832 there was a double engine-house 
built — one story, of wood — where Firemen's Hall now 
stands. In April, 1835, Neptune Engine Company, No. 3, 
was formed, with the first brake-engine used in town. In 
August, 1835, company No. 1 was disbanded. In 1837 
Neptune Company became No. 1. In 1839 the depart- 
ment was reorganized, and contained Neptune, No. 1 ; Cat- 
aract, No. 2; and Hook-and-Ladder, No. 1. In 1842 a 
company was organized to take charge of the engine for- 
merly belonging to No. 1. This company disbanded in 
1845, and the same year — a new engine having been pur- 
chased — a new company was formed, and called Jefferson 
Hose, No. 3. Cataract Company, No. 2, was disbanded 
about this time, its engine having been damaged. In 
June, 1848, a new engine was purchased for No. 1, and in 
July of the same year Central Hose Company, No. 2, was 
organized, taking the old machine of No. 1, which was 
called " Rough-and-Ready," and which was stored in barns 
or sheds as place could be found. These companies exist 
under the same names at the present time, and are doing 
excellent service, as the fire-record of the city proves. On 
the 10th of April, 1850, the fire department was chartered 
by act of the legislature, and the status of the active branch 
of the department at the present time (November 1, 1877) 

» Hon. C. R. Skinner, in " Commercial Advantages of Watertown." 

is as follows : Neptune Engine and Base Comfany^ No. 1, 
organized April, 1835 ; forty-four members; present Fore- 
man, A. Miller; 2d Assistant, Duff La Fave; Secretary, 
Charles Harris ; Treasurer, Thomas Henderson. Central 
Steamer and Hose Company, No. 2, organized July, 1848 ; 
fifty-three members; present Foreman, J. Chase, Jr.; 1st 
Assistant, A. J. Moore; 2d Assistant, H. E. Tyler; 3d 
Assistant, M. McMannis ; Secretary, F. H. Dean ; Treas- 
urer, H. J. Barber; Engineer, J. Hartigan; Fireman, S. 
Ryan. Jefferson Hose Company. No. 3, organized 1845 ; 
fifty-two members; present Foreman, F. E. Hunn ; 1st 
Assistant, E. C. Van Namee ; 2d Assistant, F. L. Baker ; 
3d Assistant, George Hannahs ; Secretary and Treasurer, 
H. Stimpson. John Hancocle Hook-and-Ladder Com- 
pany, No. 1, organized June 10, 1817; forty-three mem- 
bers ; present Foreman, A. D. Seaver ; 1st Assistant, C. Gr. 
Witt ; 2d Assistant, W. H. Cole ; 3d Assistant, G. Thomas ; 
Secretary, J. J. Spencer ; Treasurer, J. M. Hutchins. There 
are also four companies of " exempt firemen," with a total 
membership of over one hundred and seventy. 

Neptune company occupies a substantial brick building 
on Factory street, and Central company a similar building 
on Goodale street, both owned by the department. The 
Jefferson and Hancock companies occupy Firemen's Hall, 
on Stone street, built by the village in 1854. The city 
pays the regular expenses of the organization, including 
rent, etc. On January 11, 1851, the department was in- 
debted to the amount of fifty-six cents. It has now an 
ample fund on hand, received chiefly from taxes on in- 
surance companies outside the State doing business therein, 
for the support of disabled firemen. A statement, incor- 
porated in the historical preface to the printed by-laws of 
the department (edition of 1867), shows the amount of the 
several appropriations made to the department by the vil- 
lage of Watertown from 1848 to 1857 inclusive — the date 
of the last appropriation — to have been $1400, while the 
expenditures for disabled firemen, uniforms, and absolute 
necessaries amounted to $2261.09, leaving a balance paid 
by the department, from funds received from other sources, 
of $861.69. The department has also erected two engine- 
houses, and on February 8, 1875, by resolution of its di- 
rectors, decided to purchase a first-class steam-engine for 
especial use along the river, at important manufacturing 
points not easily reached by fire-hydrants. A Silsbury ro- 
tary engine was purchased for $4000, and- has already done 
effective service. The same summer the city placed in the 
court-house tower a fire-alarm bell weighing 4000 pounds. 
The above-recorded facts would seem to argue that Water- 
town is well protected against extensive or dangerous fires, 
especially as the reservoirs described elsewhere furnish at 
all times a plentiful supply of water for fire purposes by 
means of one hundred fire-hydrants placed at convenient 
points about the city. 

The following is a list of chief engineers of the depart- 
ment since its formation, as far as can be ascertained : 
1832-37, Dyer Huntington; 1838, Asher N. Corss ; 1839, 
W. H. Robinson ; 1839 to 1848, records destroyed ; 1848- 
51, N. M. Woodruff; 1852-53, N. Farnham ; 1854-65, 
Fred. Emerson ; 1866-67, S. B. Hart ; 1868-69, T. C. 
Chittenden; 1870-71, G. L. Davis ; 1872-73, J. M. Car- 



penter ; 1874-75, W. S. Carlisle ; 1876, R. L. Utley ; 1877, 
H. A. Smith. 

The staff of the department for 1877 is as follows : Chief 
Engineer, H. A. Smith; First Assistant Engineer, E. W. 
Knapp ; Second Assistant Engineer, 0. F. Graves ; Treas- 
urer, C. R. Skinner; Secretary, R. C. Scott; Directors, 
No. 1, J. E. Bergevin, R. C. Scott; No. 2, J. Chase, Jr., 
J. A. Quencer ; No. 3, F. E. Hunn, C. R. Skinner ; Hook- 
and-Ladder, A. D. Seaver, C. A. Kelsey ; Exempt Co. A, 
C. H. Von Brakle, T. S. Graves ; Exempt Co. B, S. B. 
Hart, G. Hardy; Exempt Co. C, James Smith, John 


As early as May 22, 1821, a plan for supplying the vil- 
lage with water was discussed, and action was taken to- 
wards the erection of reservoirs, but the measures were not 
carried out. June 14, 1828, the sum of 150 was appropri- 
ated by the trustees for the purpose of boring for water on 
Factory Square. At the annual meeting in 1829, the pro- 
ceeds of licenses in the First Ward were applied towards pro- 
curing water for the village. May 21, 1829, the sum of 
$200 was voted for the purpose of boring for water, and in 
pursuance of this object an artesian well was commenced 
on Public Square. After it had been sunk many feet a 
steel drill was maliciously dropped into it, thereby stopping 
the work. 

In 1829, an association was formed for boring for water 
on Factory Square. A hole two and a half inches in diam- 
eter was drilled to the depth of 127 feet, when water was 
obtained, and having been tubed, discharged for many years, 
until about 1860, a copious volume of water slightly charged 
with sulphur and iron. On Sewall's Island a similar well 
was bored into the rock, which at 80 feet discharged water 
and an inflammable gas, but being drilled deeper these both 
were lost. 

April 10, 1826, the Watertown Water Company was 
incorporated, but nothing definite resulted, and a similar 
result followed the incorporation of the Watertown Water- 
works, April 11, 1845. But in 1853 (March 22), L. 
Paddock, G. C. Sherman, I. H. Fisk, and H. Cooper were 
incorporated as the Water Commissioners of the village of 
Watertown. These citizens gave a joint bond of $60,000, 
and were empowered to borrow on the credit of the .villao-e 
$50,000 for a term of thirty years. Soon after their ap- 
pointment, the commissioners contracted with J. C. Wells 
for the construction of a pump-house and reservoir, the 
latter to be 150 by 250 feet at the water line, and twelve 
feet deep, properly made, with two centre walls for filtering. 
The reservoir was located about a mile southeast of the vil- 
lage, on a lot of six acres, upon the brow of the limestone 
ridge, 180 feet above the village, and was given a capacity 
of two million gallons. The site of the reservoir commands 
a superb view of the city and surrounding country, which 
forms a picture in the summer of exquisite beauty, only to 
be excelled by the same landscape in the tropical hues of 
the autumn. 

On the 23d of November, 1853, the water-works wore 
completed, and the water for the first time was pumped into 
the reservoir and let into pipes communicating with resi- 
dences and fire-hydrants. An experiment then made 

showed that water could be thrown 120 feet perpendic- 
ular. No serious fire.s have devastated the city since the 
completion of the reservoir, but the growth of the city, and 
the increasing demands of its people, led the water commis- 
sioners, in 1871, to construct still another reservoir. This 
was located by the side of the former, and was completed 
in 1873. Its dimensions are 250 by 200 feet, and its 
capacity four and a half million gallons. The water is 
distributed to residences and one hundred fire-hydrants 
throughout the city by sixteen miles of water mains and 

The present Board of Water Commissioners is consti- 
tuted as follows : President, R. Van Namee ; Secretary, C. 
A. Sherman, J. F. Moffett, J. C. Knowlton, C. A. Holden ; 
Superintendent, Parson T. Hines ; Clerk, N. P. Wardwell. 


Early in 1852, measures were taken for supplying the 
village with gas-light. Messrs. Walworth, Nason, and 
Guild had, by a village ordinance passed September 9, 
1851, secured the exclusive privilege of supplying the vil- 
lage with rosin gas for ten years, and February 27, 1852, 
an association, styled the Watertown Gas-Light Company, 
was organized, with a capital of $20,000. In the same 
year the principal buildings in the business portion of the 
village were supplied, and during the summer of 1853 
pipes were laid through many of the principal streets and 
to private houses, and a proportionate addition was made 
to the manufactory. Other parties having succeeded to 
the ownership of the capital stock of the company, on July 
1. 1874, the company was reorganized, and the capital 
stock increasiad to $100,000. The company has, at the 
present time, about eight miles of mains laid down in the 
city, and supplies from 20,000 to 25,000 cubic feet of coal- 
gas on an average, daily, throughout the year. There are 
ninety-nine street-burners in the city, and the principal 
business blocks and dwellings are also supplied by the corn- 
pan}'. The present ofiicers of the company are as follows : 
F. T. Story, president and treasurer ; E. Q. Sewell, vice- 
president; Joseph S. Green, secretary and superintendent; 
Directors, P. T. Story, E. Q. Sewell, A. C. Beach, and T. 
H. Camp. 


One of the things of which Watertown is justly proud 
is the suspension bridge. It spans the north channel of 
Black river, and is 175 feet long, 20 feet wide, and 40 
feet above the surface of the water. It has four towers 
constructed of | boiler-plate and 17 J feet high. The four 
cables are 6.68 inches in circumference. The anchorage is 
very secure, being drilled eight feet into the solid rock, and 
having one compound anchor, consisting of a solid bar of 
iron six inches in diameter to each. The chief points of 
interest in this bridge, and what Mr. Bradford, the builder, 
claims as superior to others of the kind, is the material of 
which the towers are constructed, — being of iron instead 
of stone. There is an aperture at the base of each tower, 
and an outlet at the top, so as to allow a free circulation of 
air, for the purpose of regulating the expansion and con- 
traction, and to establish a uniformity with the expansion 
and contraction of the cables. Aside from the questiou 

&.C. Bradley. 

MifS.G.C. Bradley. 

f\EsiDENCL or &.C.BRADLE.Y, 49 Bradley St., Waterjown. N.Y. M^ 



|^o. 43 Stone St., WATeffTOWN^ N. v 




of the greater economy of the towers, it is believed they are 
of greater strength and durability. But their chief excel- 
lence over stone is their susceptibility of expansion and 
contraction by the influence of heat and cold. This is a 
desideratum of no slight importance. The tension of wire 
cables is greatly increased in severe cold weather, the towers 
remaining nearly the same height when built of stone, but 
in this the towers will contract by cold at the same time 
the cables do, lessening their height as the cables shorten, 
and relieving them of any increased strain. In warm 
weather, as the cables expand the towers reciprocate, in- 
creasing their height as the cables lengthen, — thus in either 
cold or warm weather presenting almost the same tension 
on the cables. The other point in which an improvement 
is evident is the side-bracing and trussing. This is inge- 
niously adjusted so as to bring the weight of a crossing 
team on all parts of the cable alike, very much increasing 
its capacity. The strain on the cables is but little, if any, 
greater when a team is in the centre of the bridge than 
when near the end. 

These two points in this bridge differ from all other sus- 
pension bridges, and have entitled Mr. Bradford to the 
honor of contributing largely to the world's stock of useful 
knowledge. The bridge has been thoroughly tested by the 
wear and tear of twenty years' use ; and that it will endure 
till an earthquake or some other convulsion, or the cor- 
roding tooth of time shall destroy it, there exists no rational 


a view of which forms the frontispiece of the history of 
this city, is a feature of the city at once useful and attract- 
ive. It consists of an open mall, comprising nearly ten 
acres, the gift to the village, in 1805, by the owners of ad- 
jacent lands. The present has adorned it, but the past 
made it possible to have it for adornment.. It Ls surrounded 
by the finest buildings in the city, and is entered by six of 
the most important streets in the corporation. It is laid 
out into two large oval parks, shaded with forest-trees, and 
sodded as lawns, with a smaller one between the two, con- 
taining an elegant fountain rising from the centre of a 
circular limestone basin. Spacious driveways pass com- 
pletely around the three ovals, the larger ones being pro- 
vided with neat stands, wherein on pleasant summer evenings 
the city band discourses exquisite harmony to admiring 
crowds, which pack the broad streets and sidewalks in car- 
riages and on foot. Here, in the very heart of the city, 
amidst its dust and bustle, the lawyer leaving his brief, the 
physician his diagnosis, the minister his sermon,.the banker 
his statements, the merchant his invoices, and the laboring 
man and woman the drudgery of daily toil, may come and 
quaff generous draughts from nature's brimming cup, and 
fill their souls with the melody of singing birds, rustling 
leaves, and rippling waters, and return each to his appointed 
task refreshed and re-invigorated. 


One of the most prominent features of Watertown as a 
city, and the characteristic which attracts the attention of 

' From Mr, Skinner's pamphlet. 

visitors, is the elegance and substantial beauty of its public 
buildings and business blocks. In this respect it yields 
none of its claims to attention, and while it excels nearly 
every city of its size, rivals if not equals the appearance 
of many larger municipalities. The exhibit illustrates 
in a high degree the enterprise of those under whose direc- 
tion the buildings were erected, the taste and skill of our 
architects, the growing demands of business, and tells its 
own story of wealth and development. 

In other portions of this work will be found full descrip- 
tions of the manufacturing establishments, together with 
the churches, hotels, and schools of Watertown. Our ob- 
ject here is to note the most prominent of the notable 
buildings which adorn Public Square and the principal 

In this connection it seems proper to quote Dr. Hough's 
opinion on this subject, expressed in 1854, in his admirable 
history : 

" The taste which has hcen exhibited within two or three years in 
the erection of private dwellings cannot fail of being noticed and 
admired by strangers, and this, if continued, will soon render the 
village as conspicuous among the inland towns of the State, for the 
classic elegance of its private as well as its public buildings, as it 
has already become for the immensity of its water-power, and the 
extraordinary combination of facilities for manufatrturing purposes 
which it possesses." 

Jefferson County Court-House is one of the finest 
of our public buildings, and is situated at the corner of 
Arsenal and Benedict streets. It is surrounded by spacious 
grounds, inclosed by a handsome iron fence. The building 
was erected in 1862, at a cost of $50,000. It is built 
of brick and stone, is two stories high, and 100 by 50 
feet. During the present year provision has been made 
for ornamenting the yard with trees and shrubbery. The 
court-room and supervisors' room are among the finest and 
largest in the State. The building is supplied with water 
and gas throughout. It contains the surrogate's office, and 
the county clerk's office is located in the rear. 

The Winslow Block, the most attractive of our busi- 
ness blocks, occupies the angle formed by Franklin street 
and Public Square. It was erected by Hon. Norris Winslow, 
in 1874. It fronts 174 feet on the Square, and 194 on 
Franklin street, and varies in width from 12 to 130 feet. 
It is five stories high, built substantially of brick, and is 
admirably arranged for business purposes. The first floor 
contains eight stores, and there are also several others on 
the second floor. The remainder ofithe building is devoted 
to offices, halls, and private rooms. The three upper stories 
are reached by a broad stairway, and contain an arcade 125 
feet long and three stories high. It may here be said with 
truth that this building is another and a durable monument 
of the industry, enterprise, and public spirit of its founder. 
No man has done more for the substantial good of Water- 
town in the erection of public buildings and private resi- 
dences, and he deserves the good will and esteem of every 

Washington Hall stands at the corner of Washington 
street and Public Square, and is one of the finest and. most 
conspicuous structures in Watertown. It was built in 
1853, on the site of Perkins' hotel, and the site of the 



second dwelling erected in the city. It was built by Walter 
and Gilbert Woodruff, and came into the possession of John 
A. Sherman in July, 1859, who has since owned and im- 
proved it. The building is of brick, 90 by 120 feet in size, 
■and three stories high. The first floor is occupied by 
eight stores, the second story by offices, and the third is 
devoted to one of the finest halls in the State, capable of 
seating 1200 persons, with standing room for 300 more. 
Its height is 37 feet, and it is elaborately frescoed. The 
stage is 40 by 46 feet. 

The Agricultural Insurance Company's Block, 
located on Washington street, near Washington Hall, is the 
best and most substantial office building in northern New 
York. It was erected in 1873, at a cost of $50,000. It 
is 26 by 103 feet, three stories high, and basement. The 
walls are brick, with a handsome marble front, surmounted 
by a figure of " Ceres." It was erected by John W. 
Griffin, and is occupied by the Agricultural and Watertown 
Fire Insurance companies. 

The Doolittle & Hall Block is situated on Public 
Square, a short distance east of the Woodruff House. It 
was built, in 1871, by L. D. Doolittle and R. H. Hall. 
It is of brick, three stories, and presents a front of ninety 
feet. It is occupied by five stores, several offices, and a 
hall. The present owner is R. H. Hall. 

The Van Najiee Block is one of the most promi- 
nent of the private blocks. It is of brick, four stories, 
built in 1873, by Richard Van Namee. The first fioor is 
occupied by Van Namee Brothers' pharmacy, the remainder 
for offices. 

The Streeter Block is located on the corner of 
Public Square and Mill street, fronting on each about ninety 
feet, and is three stories, with basement and attic. There 
are seven stores in the building; erected in 1843, by dif- 
ferent parties. It is a handsome and busy block. 

The Rome, Watertown and Ogdensborqh Rail- 
way Depot, m rear of the Woodruff House, is a tasty 
structure of brick, arranged in two divisions. The offices 
of the company are located in this building. 

The Paddock buildings are mentioned on another page. 

Scripture & Clark's Carriage Repository, on 
Arsenal street, was erected in 1876. It is one of the most 
tasty of the smaller blocks. It is constructed of wood and 
covered with iron. 

The so-called Iron Block, on the north side of the 
Public Square, a fine brick structure, four stories iu height, 
and one of the most sightly in the city. 

V. S. Hubbard's Block, at the corner of Public 
Square and Franklin street, is one of the best private 
business blocks in the city. 

The Fairbanks Block is a triangular structure, situ- 
ated on Arsenal and Court streets. It is of brick, four 
stories high, built by Jason Fairbanks. 

Adjoining the Paddock buildings on the south are four 
imposing business blocks, including Masonic Hall. Union 
Bank is located in one of these buildings, and the National 
Bank and Loan Company occupies and owns the corner on 
the south. Adjoining the Iron Block, on the west, is the 
Merchants' Bank building; the Safford and Hayes blocks 
extending north on Court street. Several other fine blocks 

are located on Court street. Mechanics' Hall, erected by 
Hon. N. Winslow, and Carpenter's block, are located on 
Factory street. 

The Jefferson County Orphan Asylum, on Franklin 
street, is a tasteful structure of brick, and surrounded by a 
pleasant grove. About 30 orphans are here cared for and 
taught. The institution is ably managed, and more than 
maintains itself* 

The Jefferson County Poor- House and Insane Asylum is 
pleasantly located on Main street, just outside the city limits, 
on the bank of Black river. The buildings are large and 
commodious, built of stone and brick, and stand near a 
handsome grove. Connected with this institution is a 
productive farm, managed in the interest of the county. 


In this connection we speak only of a few of the hotels 
of the present day. Some account of those erected in for- 
mer years, beginning with the first, erected by Dr. Isaiah 
Massey, in 1802, will be found in preceding pages. Water- 
town enjoys a well-earned reputation both as to the number 
and excellence of her hotels. No other city surpasses her 
in this respect, — a fact which the traveling public will be 
found to admit. 

The Woodruff House, one of the finest hotel buildings 
in the State, was built soon after the great fire of 1 849, by 
Norris M. Woodruff. It stands on the north side of Public 
Square, facing one of the parks, and presents an imposing 
front of one hundred and twenty feet. It is five stories high, 
substantially built of brick, surmounted by a tower which rises 
over one hundred feet from the square. Its handsome appear- 
ance is not excelled anywhere outside of the larger cities. It 
is handsomely furnished, and is the architectural pride of the 
city. Its first floor is occupied by eight flourishing stores, 
and an archway extends through the centre, constituting the 
principal walk and driveway to the Rome, Watertown and 
Ogdensburgh railroad depot, in the rear. Messrs. Buck & 
Sanger, the proprietors, have conducted the house since 
1869, and are extensively known as gentlemanly landlords. 
The attractive illustration shown on another page, hand- 
some as it is, hardly does full justice to the fine appearance 
of the building. 

The Cbowner House, on Court street, was built in 1853, 
by J. D. Crowner. Its main part is 87 by 50 feet; wing, 60 
by 30 feet. It is built of brick, three stories high, and is 
conveniently and pleasantly located, and offers excellent ac- 
commodations. Messrs. Solon and George H. Wilder are its 
proprietors, and are deservedly popular with the public. 

The American Hotel was erected soon after the fire of 
1849, by T. W. Wheeler, on the corner of Areenal street and 
Public Square, fronting about one hundred feet on the former 
and fifty feet on the latter, conforming to the Paddock build- 
ing adjoining. It makes an imposing architectural display. 
It is of brick, four stories high, and is admirably arranged 
for a hotel building. It is at present conducted by Messrs. 
Buck & Sanger, of the Woodruff House, and enjoys a wide 
reputation as an excellent hotel. 

The Hanchett House, on Court and Arsenal streets, 

* See general history of the county. 



enjoys a fair share of public patronage. It is now known 
as the Globe Hotel. 

The ICirby House, located on Court street, is a three- 
story brick building, conducted by Messrs. A. M. Harris & 
Son, and is a most popular caravansary. 

The City Hotel, on Court street, recently enlarged by 
its proprietor, Wm. M. Roach, and the Harris House, on 
Public Square, Helmer and Parish, proprietors, are also 
among others worthy of mention. 


The following notices of two venerable institutions we 
clip from the correspondence of Solon Massey : 


"The recent five of Saturday night (October 4, 185G), which burned 
the old Coffeen House, has removed from our midst another of those 
time-honored landmarks which for a half-century had served to 
designate its particular locality in the western portion of our village. 
•' The old white house that for so many long years stood conspic- 
uously in the very centre of the wide street called Madison street, and 
which was the pioneer house in all that portion of the village, serving 
as a, point to reckon from in calculating the latitude and longitude for 
nearly two generations of men, has disappeared forever from the map 
of our village. In its day it was the pride of the village, displaying 
more of architectural and mechanical beauty in its proportions and 
workmanship than was usual in the very best cluss of pioneer houses, 
and was certainly the admiration of all the youths of the village and 
its vicinity. 

"Its site was one of rare beauty, — in the immediate neighborhood 
of the place selected for the court-house and jail, and overlooking a 
large extent of country, as well as the course of the river. 

" Judge Coffeen had succeeded in getting the county-seat at Water- 
town, and the stake for the court-house and jail on the site now (1866) 
occupied by them ; and he flattered himself with the hope and expec- 
tation that he could draw off a fair proportion of the future popula- 
tion of the village to the high and commanding ground surrounding 
the court-house. He might have succeeded, possibly, had it not been 
for the hold which the ' old spring in the mall' had on the choice and 
affections of the people. 

" No expense was spared, however, in the erection and embellish- 
ment of his own mansion, and in the plans which he devised for beau- 
tifying that part of the village. 

"His house was to be the common centre around which, he confi- 
dently believed, would cluster a fair proportion of the business — 
stores, shops, and ofiices — as well as the private residences of a future 
city, and it was therefore adapted to meet the necessities of